Pair sentenced for selling fake Comic-Con tickets

By City News Service

Two Los Angeles men must pay a fine of $750 each and pick up trash on the side of the road for selling bogus tickets to last

summer's Comic-Con convention in San Diego, prosecutors said Monday.

Farhad Lame pleaded guilty Monday to theft. Co-defendant Navid Vatankhahan pleaded guilty to the same charge last week in San Diego Superior Court.

Both defendants were placed on three years probation and ordered to complete 10 days of public work service and pay restitution to the victims.

Additionally, Vatankhahan was banned from re-selling tickets during his probation.

The defendants were arrested in July on the last day of the Comic-Con convention, after two women were refused entry by Comic-Con security with tickets purchased from the defendants.

The women each paid $120 for what the defendants told them were two-day tickets to Comic-Con but were actually photocopies of an exhibitor's ticket, which was not transferable, authorities said.

In fact, no Comic-Con tickets are transferable, nor can they be resold, according to officials.

The victims bought the bogus tickets after seeing a posting on Craigslist.org., offering tickets to a sold-out Comic-Con convention.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith warned consumers to be diligent about buying things over the Internet.

"The old adage 'if it seems too good to be true, it usually is' applied more than ever to the Internet," Goldsmith said. "This is particularly true if you don't know the identity of the seller, as is often the case with Web sites such as Craigslist.org."

   
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