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Published: Friday, 12/1/2006

OSU-Michigan ticket scammer sent to prison

Mark West waits to be sentenced this morning. Mark West waits to be sentenced this morning.

BOWLING GREEN A Fostoria man who took $162,909 from people who thought they were buying tickets to an Ohio State-Michigan football game in 2005 but never delivered the tickets, was sentenced this morning to 34 months in prison and ordered to pay the money back.

Mark West, 54, was found guilty in September of theft and telecommunications fraud following a jury trial in Wood County Common Pleas Court. During the trial, he claimed he did not intend to cheat anyone but admitted he was unable to deliver all of the tickets he d sold on the Internet auction site, eBay, because ticket prices had become inflated and he had recently sustained an $85,000 loss on tickets he d sold for another Ohio State game.

Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry seemed to agree with witnesses who said they believed West had the tickets in his possession or he wouldn t have posted them for sale on eBay. The judge said the fact that West fled to Florida without telling his wife where he was going or satisfying his angry customers indicated he was not just a bad businessman, but a conspiratorial criminal in planning to do this.

West already has served nearly 11 months in the Wood County jail so he actually will only spend about 23 months with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. His attorney, Andy Hart, said an appeal will be filed.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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