Three New York men charged in counterfeit ticket case

by Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Stadium

The decision this week by theSt. JosephCounty(Ind.) Prosecutors Office to file forgery charges against threeNew Yorkmen for allegedly selling counterfeit Notre Dame football tickets is a welcome development in efforts to curb ticket fraud and resale, according to the Universitys director of athletic ticketing.

ArnoldConyers, Dennel Friday and Timothy D. Lang, all from the Bronx, N.Y., were charged Tuesday (Sept. 19) with forgery, a Class C felony, by the county prosecutor. Each defendant is alleged to have sold counterfeit Notre Dame football tickets to another person on or about Sept. 9 and Sept. 16, the prosecutors office announced. The sentencing range for a Class C felony is two to eight years, with an advisory sentence of four years.

We are working hard to protect our fans and are pleased that those efforts have led to these arrests and charges,said Josh Berlo, director of athletic ticketing.We appreciate the work of Notre Dame Security/Police, the South Bend Police Department and the St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office in this operation.

The signal is clear: Notre Dame is not the place to conduct these illegal activities.

The University began its efforts to thwart counterfeit ticket schemes after numerous forgeries were discovered at the Notre Dame-USC football game last year. Ticket officials consulted security experts from the National Football League and local police agencies to better understand the processes involved in the distribution of counterfeit tickets. They assisted in undercover operations in cooperation with NotreDame andSouth Bendpolice during the first two home game weekends.

Berlo said the University also is working to curb the resale of tickets above face value. So far this season, ticket office personnel have identified the owners of some 1,700 tickets that were resold and have canceled their future ticket privileges. The resale of 400 of the tickets was discovered before the tickets were mailed. These tickets were resold by the University to alumni who did not receive tickets through the annual lottery.

Our alumni have made it clear,Berlo said,that they want us to do all we can to make sure Notre Dame football tickets are not resold for profit.

He added that the University will continue to diligently monitor and enforce its ticket policies for the remaining five home games of the 2006 season.

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