NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Maryland man pleaded guilty Thursday to selling more than $8,000 worth of counterfeit tickets to the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship game and Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
Richard McNeal, 47, of Randallstown, Md., admitted to a charge of trafficking in counterfeit goods, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente announced in a news release.
McNeal traveled to the city on Jan. 8, 2012, to sell the fake tickets. Since he could find no hotel rooms in New Orleans, he went to Picayune, Miss., where he found a room and sold four tickets for $3,000, Boente said.
The people who bought the tickets were denied entry into the Superdome, prosecutors said.
They returned to Mississippi and reported the phony tickets to police there.
McNeal returned to the city Feb. 2 to sell more counterfeit tickets, this time to the Super Bowl. But during that time, the NFL and federal authorities were searching for bogus tickets, and someone to whom McNeal sold tickets went to those officials to see if they were real.
That person found her tickets were fake.
The next day, undercover Homeland Security agents arranged to meet McNeal to try to buy tickets.
McNeal offered to sell the undercover agents two tickets for $2,600. New Orleans police officers who worked with the federal agents then arrested him.
Later that day, another person came forward with two tickets he bought from McNeal for $1,000 that turned out to be fake.
McNeal is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 19.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)