Ed Sheeran welcomes guilty verdicts of ‘greedy’ ticket touts in £6,500,000 reselling scheme
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 14
Ed Sheeran has welcomed the guilty verdict (Picture: Getty Images North America)

has welcomed a guilty verdict in the case of ticket touts who ‘exploited’ fans of his music.

Two people, Lynda Chenery and Mark Woods, have been found guilty of fraudulent activity over their involvement in touting firm TQ Tickets Ltd, which sold on tickets to the tune of more than £6.5 million pounds in just two and a half years.

Maria Chenery-Woods – who is Woods’s wife and Chenery’s sister – and Chenery’s ex-husband Paul Douglas pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

Tickets for major musicians such as , Little Mix and Sheeran were targeted by the ‘dishonest’ company, which bought up large numbers of tickets and resold them at vastly inflated prices.

Leeds Crown Court heard TQ Tickets bought up large amounts of tickets using multiple identities, some fake, from sites such as Ticketmaster, and sold them on secondary ticketing platforms such as Viagogo.

Fans of different artists have issued complaints over the years at seeing tickets for shows appear immediately after selling out on Ticketmaster, according to PA.

The Thinking Out Loud star’s team had undergone ‘extensive measures’ to try and prevent fans being ripped off by touts reselling for his gigs at excessive prices, they said.

Sheeran’s team have ‘taken a stand’ against touts in recent years (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

His promoter, Stuart Galbraith, has called the verdict ‘good news for live music fans, who are too often ripped off and exploited by greedy ticket touts.’

And Ed’s manager, Stuart Camp, said the ‘low point’ for the team was a teenage Cancer Trust gig Ed did where ‘tickets were listed on Viagogo for thousands of pounds, but with none of the money going to .’

He added: ‘Today’s prosecution will help protect music fans and sets an important precedent in the live entertainment industry that I hope will be celebrated by live music fans.’

Camp and Galbraith both spoke at the trial, with Camp noting Sheeran’s 2018 stadium tour was ‘when we really took a stand against online ticket touts.

During the trial, jurors heard that Maria Chener-Woods described herself as the ‘Ticket Queen,’ and was the driving force behind the company.

Touts Mark Woods (L) and Lynda Chenery (R) were found guilty at Leeds Crown Court (Picture: Ben Lack Photography Ltd)

The company concealed their IP addresses using specialist software to buy up huge amounts of tickets and sold them on, in some cases at 500% more than the face value.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford KC said the case was ‘about greed and dishonesty,’ saving the two defendants were ‘part of a dishonest scheme that, over a number of years, exploited the love and passion that many of us have for our favourite pop bands, our favourite artists – people like Ed Sheeran and so forth… to milk them for profits.’

The court heard that TQ Tickets listed tickets before they were even sourced, and that fans were sometimes refused entry at venues — or were sent ripped envelopes with no tickets inside, to infer the tickets had been lost in the post.

Between 2015 and 2017, the firm had sales of over £6,500,000, with over 47,000 tickets bought using 127 names and 187 different email addresses.

The court heard that TQ Tickets had bought up 47,000 tickets for various shows between 2015 and 2017 and resold them at vastly inflated prices (Credits: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Chenery, 51, and Woods, 59, both of Dickleburgh, near Diss, Norfolk, were found guilty of three counts of fraudulent trading.

Chenery-Woods, 54, also of Dickleburgh, and Douglas, 56, of Pulham Market, Norfolk, admitted the same offences.

A message sent from Douglas to Chenery-Woods declared the company would ‘simply rinse consumers for as much profit as they are willing to pay’.

Woods told the court he thought there was ‘nothing untoward’ about his wife’s business, but said she ‘became completely obsessed. It took priority over me, the family, and it caused conflict.’

Chenery, who did book-keeping for her sister’s firm said she did not think TQ Tickets was involved in fraud.