Alleged ticket counterfeiter arrested

Ivan Iriarte has been arrested in connection with the sale of counterfeit tickets

October 8, 2010 4:24:34 PM PDT
We have a warning for anyone who buys tickets to events online through websites like Craigslist or eBay. Houston police say they've arrested a man for selling fake tickets; hundreds of them. That suspect was arrested in a northwest Houston parking lot Wednesday after selling allegedly bogus tickets to police officers. They tell us he'd come halfway across the country to rip people off.

Ivan Iriarte, 35, allegedly sold police fake tickets to this weekend's Austin City Limits festival. Abie Mata saw Iriate's picture on abc13.com after we first reported the story Friday at 11am.

"I saw his face," said Mata. "As soon as I saw his face, I was like, this is the guy."

Mata bought four tickets from Iriarte last month for the Texans/Cowboys game, giving him $1,000.

The tickets turned out to be fake. Now he wonders if he'll get the money back.

"I'm just glad the guy was caught. This is ridiculous. It's sad to know there's people out there haggling other people just trying to have a good time," said Mata.

Investigators say they've now linked Iriarte to over 150 bogus tickets which were sold to the Texans and Cowboys matchup and over 100 tickets sold to the festival in Austin.

As real as each ticket looks, on each, they tell us, neither the bar code nor number adjacent are legitimate.

"To the Texans game, they were anywhere from $100 to $600," said an undercover officer with whom we spoke. "I got a complaint in here form an individual who purchased two tickets; $600 apiece from Ivan."

The officer works undercover so we're not showing his face. He says Iriarte is part of an group out of Los Angeles which advertises tickets online on websites like Craigslist, eBay and even Facebook and Twitter.

Victims would contact the suspect and then he would fly out to do the deal.

If you believe you've purchased fake tickets for that game or any others, HPD wants to talk to you. They ask that you call their major offenders unit at 713-308-3100.


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