UK Labour Party Hopeful Jailed For $150,000 Tomorrowland Ticket Fraud
The UK will head to the polls on Thursday, May 7 to vote in the 56th parliament and thus decide who will lead the country for the next four years - David Cameron of the incumbent Conservative Party or Ed Milibrand of the Labour Party. Local elections will take place on the same day across most of England and one Labour Party hopeful who had originally hoped to rise up the ranks in the Labour Party is headed to jail for an extensive fraud she committed with her mother in 2013. According to court documents, 23-year-old Charmaine Bowers, created a grand scheme where she was able to scam more than $150,000 out of fans expecting to purchase tickets to the popular EDM festival Tomorrowland, which takes place in Boom, Belgium.
Described in court as a "female Walter Witty," Bowers from December 2012 to July committed a "sophisticated" fraud where she claimed she modeled for Nuts magazine and had access to promotional tickets. Records seized by detectives show that at least 311 people bought the tickets, which start at about $400 for the full three days, not including camping and travel.
Bower's mother, Tina Bowers, "skillfully created" bar-coded confirmation slips for the buyers using her employer's computer and printer.
Eventually the scam blew up after a few buyers did not receive their tickets and started to call Charmaine asking questions with Tina fielding many of the calls. A "huge number of excuses were made" as the story began to unravel with the police getting involved.
They created a fictitious friend "Emily Stevens" who was supposed to help sell the tickets. Det. Con Glenn Harrop of Devonport Police unraveled the web of lies as "a deliberate invention to create reality to this facade she was presenting. Throughout her interview she tearfully denied all liability as did her mother."
Charmaine has been jailed for two years and three months for her role in the fraud, while Tina was sentenced to 29 weeks, suspended for two years. She also has to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
This is welcome justice for those lost their money and what they thought was an opportunity to attend one of the biggest festivals in the world, but it won't get back the money for the 18-30 year olds that include Afghanistan veterans on leave looking for a well-deserved holiday.