SBD/Issue 37/Sports Industrialists

Ornstein To Be Sentenced Nov. 17 For Super Bowl Ticket Scams

Marketing agent MIKE ORNSTEIN is now scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 17 in a case in which he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to two federal felonies involving scams to sell Super Bowl tickets and falsely advertised NFL jerseys. Ornstein had been scheduled to be sentenced on one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy on Jan. 24, but Ornstein's attorney asked that the hearing before Cleveland Federal Judge CHRISTOPHER BOYKO be moved up, said MIKE TOBIN, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Cleveland, which is prosecuting the case. Ornstein's attorney, ANGELO LONARDO, did not return a phone call. Ornstein, best known as the former marketing agent for Saints RB REGGIE BUSH, has ties throughout the sports industry and his criminal case is being closely watched in the industry where some worry he could name names in ongoing federal probes of Super Bowl ticket scalping and NFL jerseys that were falsely advertised as game worn. He pleaded guilty to the two counts in June, but news of his plea deal, which sent shock waves through the industry, was not reported until October. Ornstein originally had been scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 30, but his lawyers and the U.S. Attorney in a joint motion asked that the hearing be rescheduled to Jan. 24 so that Ornstein could have time to sell his properties or otherwise find a way to pay the $350,000 in restitution he agreed to pay the U.S. government as part of his plea deal. He had already paid $110,000 and it is not clear if the sentencing hearing was moved up because he is now able to pay the remaining $240,000. A notice moving up his sentencing hearing was filed with the court last week.

FACING MAXIMUM OF 25 YEARS: Ornstein in June pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The U.S. Attorney in Cleveland said that Ornstein conspired with others, whose identities are known and unknown to the government, in the ticket and jersey scams. The others Ornstein conspired with are not named in court papers filed by the U.S. Attorney's office and it is not clear if they are being prosecuted. Tobin said the investigations are ongoing but declined to answer other questions about the probes. Ornstein has a prior federal felony conviction on his record, having pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the mid '90s after he and two others were charged with defrauding Ornstein's former employer, NFL Properties, of $350,000.

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