Fraudster who sold fake London Games tickets jailed, with Olympians' parents victims of scam

Associated Press

LONDON - The biggest seller of fake tickets for the London Olympics has been jailed for four years, British police said Friday.

Christakis Ioannou set up websites designed to look like the official portals, and received more than 500,000 euros ($646,500) for non-existent tickets from people in 35 countries.

The parents of Olympians from France and Greece were among the London fraudster's victims, police said, but did not give further details.

"Ioannou was the first fraudster of this type we identified and the biggest. This case clearly shows that online crime of this nature is not a victimless crime," said detective superintendent Nick Downing of Scotland Yard. "Over 400 people missed out on a chance to be part of the London 2012 Olympic Games and instead were simply ripped off."

Ioannou was arrested after arriving back in London at Gatwick Airport from Portugal and was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court in south London after pleading guilty last month to fraud.

"(Operation) Podium were so concerned about people falling foul of his scam we issued a number of public warnings naming the sites to try prevent additional people from getting conned," Downing said. "Once someone had bought their tickets, at vastly over inflated prices, they never heard from the website of his company again."

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