A Middlesex County man who’d previously been convicted in a ticket resale investment scam admitted in federal court Thursday that he did it again, authorities said.
Jeffrey Burd, 61, of Edison, told a U.S. District Court judge during a virtual hearing in Newark that he spent the $447,000 that investors had given him for the purported business on himself.
Burd had promised his victims that their money would go toward buying tickets for “high-profile concerts, sporting events, and Broadway shows,” with the profits split between him and them, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachel A. Honig said.
Burd “further assured the victims that investing with him carried no risk,” Honig said, adding that he “promised returns on their investments of 30 percent to 40 percent.”
Instead, Burd “used their investments for his personal expenditures,” the U.S. attorney said.
Federal jurors in Manhattan had convicted Burd in 1992 of running a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded investors of more than $15 million for a purported big-time ticket brokerage.
He was sentenced in 1993 to 6½ years in federal prison and was released in November 2004, U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show.
A bogus contract shown to the jury during Burd’s federal trial reportedly implied that his business had been chosen to provide $87 million in travel arrangements for the NFL, as well as Diamond View suites at Shea Stadium for New York Mets games, among other purported perks.
Burd furthered the schemes through ruses that included introducing investors to popular players, including former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, federal prosecutors said.
Then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue testified during the trial that his signature was forged on a bogus contract that federal prosecutors said Burd used to promote his supposed business.
It had been copied from an official football that Burd got at the 1990 Super Bowl game in New Orleans between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, federal authorities said.
Burd gambled millions of the investors' money in casinos, while buying Jaguars and jewelry, they alleged.
His credit at various casinos was suspended due to what New Jersey Attorney General records said was his “non-payment of approximately $2 million in debt.”
Rather than go to trial this time, Burd pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud Thursday during a video-conferenced hearing before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark. She scheduled sentencing for June 8.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the guilty plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Kozar of her Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
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