Man convicted of theft, fraud

Updated: December 1, 2006, 8:27 PM ET
Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- A man who failed to deliver Ohio State-Michigan football tickets that he sold in an online auction was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison.

Mark West was convicted of theft and fraud for bilking 250 customers who bought tickets to the 2005 game at Michigan.

The 54-year-old has spent 11 months in jail and will remain there another 23 months. Wood County Judge Alan Mayberry also ordered West to pay $162,909 to those who bought the tickets.

West testified during his trial that he priced the tickets too low and did not have enough money to buy tickets to fulfill his orders.

At least 200 people filed complaints against him, and eBay reported customer losses of $260,000. In many cases, buyers paid $300 or more per ticket.

West apologized before sentencing.

"Maybe I'm not the brightest businessman, but I'm prepared to do whatever you want me to do," he told the judge.

West said he started selling tickets on eBay in late 2002 or early 2003. He said he typically bought tickets from third parties after conducting pre-sale auctions on eBay.

He was reported missing just four days before the 2005 game and after eBay suspended his account and notified law enforcement about complaints from ticket buyers.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press