New York attorney and lifelong Giants fan Heath D. Harte issued a statement today in advance of “The Big Game” reminding fans to be wary of counterfeit tickets, the sale of which is considered fraud.
Harte was seven years old when he and his father attended his first Giants game. He has been a season ticket holder ever since.
“As a lifelong fan and season ticket holder, I think I have a pretty good idea of how to spot fakes,” said Harte. “You should always buy from an authorized source. If you are unsure, or a deal seems too good to be true, you are better off paying a little extra for peace of mind.”
Harte listed several rules of thumb for anyone to remember if they are unsure about a ticket purchase:
-Check the quality of the ticket. Look out for misspelled words and bleeding or incorrect coloring.
-Ensure that the triple hologram label is present. Depending on the angle from which the ticket is viewed, it should show the Statue of Liberty, New York, New Jersey, and XLVIII (the roman numeral 48).
-This year’s tickets use “thermo-chromic” ink, which changes color when exposed to heat. The color later returns when the ticket cools down. Any ticket that does not display this quality is very likely fake.
-Authentic tickets will have cross-hatch raised artwork, and an embossed foil depiction of the Lombardi trophy. A simple printing of the Lombardi trophy alone indicates a fake.
“Anyone who engages in the production or sale of fake tickets is committing a type of fraud,” said Harte. “Aside from the criminal charges that come if you are caught trying to sell counterfeit goods while passing them off as the genuine article, counterfeiters also run the risk of criminal trademark and copyright infringement, and perhaps even patent infringement.”
Trafficking in counterfeit goods such as tickets to “The Big Game” is regulated by the federal government because it is considered interstate and international commerce.
“While most states have laws criminalizing these activities, the power to punish the act of counterfeiting belongs exclusively to the federal government,” said Harte.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 472 is the federal law pertaining to the passing of counterfeit money and it states that “whoever, with the intent to defraud, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish or sell . . . or keeps in possession or conceals any falsely made, forged, counterfeited, or altered obligation or other security of the United States, shall be fined . . . or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
Another example includes criminal infringement. Title 17, United States Code, Section 506(a)(1)(A) (the federal law that pertains to the copying and selling of movies without permission) establishes that criminal infringement can occur in one of three ways:
1. for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain
2. by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of one or more copies or phone records of one or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000
3. by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution
“Obviously, there are some pretty stiff penalties for anyone who engages in this sort of illicit business,” said Harte. “Would-be fraudsters would do well to just pack it in and enjoy the game, but that is unfortunately, a dubious proposition at best. You just have to ask yourself, ‘is it worth 20 years in federal prison to make a few extra bucks?’ I submit that it is not.”
About the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte
With over 25 years of experience, the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte is a full service law firm concentrating in Criminal Law, Personal Injury Law, Estate Planning, and Real Estate. While traditional in service and style, with smart use of experience and leveraging state of the art technology to streamline services, the firm cuts out excessive overhead usually associated with law firms. Lower overhead means that the firm can offer the same service one expects from a prestigious law firm, like the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte, at lower, more affordable costs to clients. The firm’s ultimate goal is to provide aggressive, reliable and effective legal representation at an affordable price. The firm also offers creative fee structures to accommodate clients’ needs, especially in today’s economic climate.
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