‘Hamilton’ tickets Ponzi scheme that netted $81 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged two men in New York with fraud on Friday for running an $81 million Ponzi scheme that promised to make money reselling tickets to the sold-out Broadway musical.

“As alleged in our complaint, Meli and Harriton raised millions from investors by promising big profits from reselling tickets to A-list events when in reality they were moving investor money in a circle and creating a mirage of profitability,” Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston office, said in a statement.

The alleged Ponzi schemers, Joseph Meli and Matthew Harriton, said they had an agreement with a Hamilton producer to buy 35,000 tickets to the show. 125 investors were told they would get their money back within eight months.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Meli.