Chicago man sold fake Kentucky Derby tickets to several people, LMPD says
LMPD said more people have come forward after buying fake tickets to the Kentucky Derby.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD said more people have come forward after buying fake tickets to the Kentucky Derby.
Cornelius Rias, 29, who was arrested last week, is accused of selling fake Derby tickets to several people. Most of the victims found out they had been scammed after showing up at Churchill Downs for the races.
One of the victims was Para Tiwari, who found covered tickets for he and his friends with rain in the forecast.
"Looking on Craigslist, like a lot of people do, I was able to find a gentleman who was selling tickets that were covered," he said.
The ad listed the tickets at face value, which was around $285 apiece, Tiwari said.
Tiwari is a local business owner and has attended the Kentucky Derby several times, so he knew to proceed with caution.
"I brought my father with me, and we both looked at the tickets, and we knew they were authentic," he said.
Tiwari said he bought the tickets from Rias, who even had proof of purchase.
"He provided a receipt ... It was from Churchill Downs," Tiwari said. "It had water-makings on it. It had his credit card number, his name, his address."
But after a while, Tiwari got the feeling that his good fortune was too good to be true and got a friend to contact the seller.
"I had him text the guy because I still had his number and asked him if he still had Derby tickets, and he responded yes," he said.
The next question and answer revealed the truth.
"Then my friend texted him back what's the box number, seat number of the tickets, and when he replied the same tickets that he had sold me, it was like a punch in the gut," Tiwari said.
Det. John Green with LMPD Sixth Division said several people showed up at the track with fake tickets and weren't able to get in.
"All those tickets are fraudulent," Green said.
Bu Green had the Craigslist ad, the suspect's number and set a trap.
"We set him up to purchase tickets as well, and he actually met us downtown," Green said.
Rias, who LMPD said is from Chicago, was arrested and charged with theft by deception.
It was a painful lesson, but it had a happy ending for Tiwari. Churchill Downs rewarded him for all of the work he did to help track the suspect down.
"They actually gave me four tickets," Tiwari said.
The Better Business Bureau says buying tickets to events like the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby or concerts on Craigslist can be risky business. President and CEO Reanna Smith-Hamblin suggested going directly to Churchill Downs or through Ticketmater or Stubhub."Going to Churchill Downs directly through their website, they have links where you buy tickets, going through ticket master, stub hub even has some security."
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