Music News

Paradise Papers Reveal Massive StubHub Scheme by Canadian Multimillionaire

Chances are that if you’ve ever been screwed out of buying tickets for a hot concert, the guy doing the boning was Julien Lavallée.

Lavallée, a Quebec-based multimillionaire, had the whole bot thing figured out and was able to suck up thousands of event tickets and then resell them on StubHub for big profits. The CBC and the Toronto Star uncovered Lavallée’s methods in the recently leaked Paradise Papers.

From the CBC:

CBC News obtained sales records from three U.K. shows that provide unprecedented insight into the speed and scale of Lavallée’s ticket scam.

Despite a four-ticket-per-customer limit, his business snatched up 310 seats in 25 minutes, charged to 15 different names in 12 different locations.

The grand total? Nearly $52,000 worth of tickets at face value.

Lavallée’s name appears over and over in the records, alongside the names of his wife, his father and other friends and family. The records show them somehow buying tickets from different locations around the world at the same time, placing orders from cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Montreal.

“The speed of the transactions — this isn’t somebody sitting there typing details over and over again,” said Reg Walker, a U.K. event security specialist hired by some of London’s biggest concert venues.

And it gets better. StubHub actually helped facilitate their transactions with Lavallée. Again from the CBC:

CBC and the Toronto Star have discovered StubHub actually has a program to forge relationships with those it calls its “top sellers.”

StubHub, which promotes itself as a “fan to fan” resale site, now operates in 47 different countries but discloses very little on its website about where it gets its massive inventory.

But the CBC/Star investigation also discovered a password-protected portal exclusively for StubHub’s top sellers who prove they can move more than $50,000 worth of tickets a year.

The company offers them special software to upload and manage huge inventories of tickets.

It’s not clear if Lavallée violated any laws, but if you ever suspected that something was rotten in the state of scalpers, here’s something that smells pretty, pretty, pretty bad.

Read the entire report here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38529 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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