LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein talked to Southland music fans who paid big bucks for luxury seats at sold out concerts.
The fans said they were taken advantage of and accuse the ticket seller of dealing with nothing but heartache.
Louie Salinas and his wife Brenda promised hard-to-get tickets in luxury booths at STAPLES for in-demand concerts like One Direction, Bruno Mars and Beyonce.
Said one alleged victim, “I got to admit, the guy is smooth. Very, very suave,” says Jimmy Borunda.
Borunda’s wife said, “I told my dad we’re going to have the suite, the buffet, open bar.”
Many paid as much as $1,400 per ticket .
But on the day of the event, Goldstein reports, the ticket holders were often given a story.
“She calls me or texts me ,’Oh, I’m sorry, but something happened.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, something happened?;” says one woman.
That “something” happened to the six people Goldstein spoke to and they say many others.
They said the Salinas took their money for sold out shows but never delivered.
“To this day, since March, he owes me $2,300,” says Borunda.
Borunda and his wife Rocio bought 35 tickets to a Vincente Fernandez concert. They say Salinas claimed he had a connection at Staples and had sold tickets previously that he was able to produce.
This time Brenda was advertising available tickets on a Facebook chat. $90 each. Private food and beverages. A luxury private suite. Rocio even flew her dad in from Boston.
“At the last minute, the tickets didn’t come in. And once they told me that, I was like, oh my God. How do I tell my dad,” says Rocio.
Lydia Aquino bought suite tickets for One Direction.
“My 12-year-old is a big fan,” said Aquino. One Direction is her daughter’s favorite group, she added.
Aquino says she gave Salinas $480 for six tickets.
“The day of, it was just a lot of ‘I’m sick, I have to go to emergency, my blood sugar is like at 400,’” says Aquino.
So as not to disappoint her daughter, at the 11th hour, she spent another $400 so she could sit in the last row.
“I saw her face fall,” said Aquino, “as we walked up and got into the [higher] area, she just turned around and looked, and sighed, and I just went ‘Oh my God.’”
The group took to Facebook to warn others about the Salinas’ and their ticket scam. The group also said promises of refunds came and went with only a few of the people getting a portion of their money back, including Borunda who received $1,000.
“He a good con artist,” said Rocio.
Goldstein caught up with Salinas and he had no answers.
“I’m David Goldstein with CBS2 News. What happened to all the suite tickets?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Salinas.
Goldstein countered with, “Sure you do. What happened to all the suite tickets? At STAPLES Center. All the food. All the alcohol. People call you a con man, saying you’re suave. Come on, talk to me a second, Louie.”
Residents want to know where their money has gone but they say they have learned their lesson.
“It’s very foolish. I would say, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. I would never do it again,” says Borunda.
David Goldstein, CBS2 News