Ahmed Dahir allegedly had a good racket going.
For months, the 28-year-old Burnsville man had reportedly been buying sporting events e-tickets through Ticketmaster with stolen plastic. Since it would be an hour or so before Ticketmaster flagged the illicit purchases, Dahir would already have them in his possession before anyone got wise and the ticket barcodes were invalidated.
What he did next is where the real capitalist component of the scam kicks in.
After making multiple copies of the same ticket, Dahir would then advertise them on Craigslist at below market prices. Prospective buyers, thinking they'd scored a good deal, would meet Dahir, usually in the area of 24th Street and Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis on game day, according to Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officials.
In one instance, Dahir sold a pair of counterfeit Wild club level seats at a recent tilt against the Winnipeg Jets for $120, which was far less than half what they were going for in the legit free market.
Dahir was finally tracked down late last week in a MPD sting after officials posing as wannabe ticket buyers arranged a meeting at a city laundromat.
Dahir is charged with theft by swindle, which has a penalty of up to five years with a possible $10,000 fine. Authorities allege he made thousands of dollars over a period of months, duping dozens of Vikings, concert, and most recently, Wild fans.
"I think the first lesson here is if it's too good to be true, it probably is," says MPD Lt. Kim Lund, who worked the investigation leading to Dahir's arrest. "People need to think twice if they think they're getting a deal and paying $120 to $150 for two tickets the day of the game if that's not what's being advertised everywhere else."
The NHL playoffs start this Wednesday. As the Wild chase the franchise's first Stanley Cup, Lund says it's inevitable that more and more crooks will be out there peddling bogus tickets.
"You're not going to find this with the Wolves or the Twins," says Lund. "That's no shot against them, but this kind of thing happens because [criminals] are preying on the market knowing a venue is going to be sold out. Since Wild tickets are hot, I'm afraid we'll see more of these kind of tickets being sold."
Send tips to Cory Zurowski.