The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

Maltese-Canadian sentenced to one-year jail term for ticket scam in New Orleans

Monday, 3 May 2021, 14:56 Last update: about 8 days ago

A Maltese-Canadian has been sentenced to a one-year jail term in New Orleans, United States, after pleading guilty to wire fraud and to operating a long-term fraudulent ticket scam, including for World Cup football matches.

Joseph Gatt, 75, who was dual Maltese and Canadian citizenship was sentenced to a year in prison and to three years of supervised release and also ordered to repay his victims $95,000.

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Gatt is also subject to deportation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a filing on April 23, Gatt sought to appeal his guilty plea. No reasons were given in the appeal filing.

Gatt had earlier run into trouble when he lived in Vancouver, Canada, running sport-tour ticket operations.

In 1999, four Vancouver-area soccer fans sued Gatt and Vancouver-based Classic Sport Tours Ltd. after paying $5,000 for a vacation to the 1998 World Cup in France when they claimed they did not get the promised tickets to a number of key games, including the final.

In 2004, Gatt was the chief promoter for a company called Ultimate Sports Dreams that organized a trip and tickets to the European Cup soccer tournament held every four years.

The tour took a turn for the worse when the company was unable to pick up tickets to the final and a dispute arose over 18,000 euros in bus charges owed to an international company.

The imbroglio resulted in the kidnapping of the wife of a man helping out on the tour when Gatt could not be found.

Spanish police tracked her and the kidnappers down and freed her safely.

Read the full story here.

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