A New York man and two others from New Jersey are among six people who have been indicted for their alleged involvement in an international cybercrime ring that targeted more than 1,000 StubHub users to fraudulently buy tickets and then resell them, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the case involved more than $1.6 million. Prosecutors first learned of the scam when StubHub representatives reported that more than 1,000 of their user accounts were compromised. According to authorities, the group’s ringleader, Vadim Polyakov, would use the billing information from the accounts along with stolen credit card numbers to buy tickets to Broadway shows, concerts and baseball games.
Prosecutors allege Polyakov, 30, and Nikolay Matveychuk, 21, would then send the tickets to members of their alleged crime ring in New York and New Jersey to resell them hours before the sought-after and often sold out event was scheduled to take place. Three men – one from New York and two from New Jersey – were tasked with selling the alleged stolen tickets locally, Vance said. They would then allegedly funnel the cash into PayPal and foreign bank accounts that were controlled by Polyakov.
Two of those men were arrested Wednesday morning when investigators raided their homes in Manhattan and New Jersey. Daniel Petryszyn, 28, and Bryan Caputo, 29, were each arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan Criminal Court. The third man, Laurence Brinkmeyer, 29, of New Jersey, is expected to surrender to authorities later this week, a source said.
Petryszyn pleaded not guilty to felony money laundering and possession of stolen property charges. Prosecutors say they’ve obtained online email chats that tie him to Polyakov, in which he says he “will launder all the money they want.” If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in state prison.
At his arraignment Wednesday afternoon, his attorney, Liam Malanaphy, said his client was “just some scared kid from New Jersey.” He said the recent Penn State graduate is fighting the charges. Petryszyn was ordered held on $2 million bail, which the defense lawyer called “outrageous.”
“The fact of the matter is, bail is supposed to make sure you’re going to return to court,” Malanaphy said after the arraignment. “This kid would have come back to court yesterday if [he] knew they were looking for him.” He said his client would have also voluntarily surrendered to investigators if he knew he was a suspect.
Caputo was also arraigned Wednesday on similar, but lower-level charges. His lawyer, Reginald Sharpe, said Caputo didn’t know the tickets were stolen. “We’re going to fight this,” he said. “You’d have to know they were stolen tickets to be convicted of this crime.”
Officials said Polyakov was arrested earlier this month while vacationing in Spain. The 30-year-old is currently awaiting extradition. Two other men, Matveychuk and Sergei Kirin, 37, have not yet been apprehended, prosecutors said.