Debra Louise Brass, 28, allegedly sold counterfeit tickets to a sold-out Lady Gaga concert at Staples Center. (credit: Hermosa Beach Police Department)

HERMOSA BEACH (CBS/CNS) — Authorities say a Hermosa Beach woman has sold more than 30 fake tickets to a sold-out Lady Gaga concert at Staples Center.

Debra Louise Brass, who turned 28 on the day of the Aug. 11 concert, was arrested Friday, according to jail records.

One of Brass’s victims told police she was duped by a Craigslist ad, Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Robert Higgins said.

The woman told police she bought tickets from Brass but could not get into the concert. Outside Staples Center, the woman found about 50 other people who were denied entry because they had counterfeit tickets, Higgins said.

The woman took the names of the other victims and gave the list to police, he said. With it, detectives found about 30 other victims — one of them from Seattle.

Brass, freed on $20,000 bail, is due in court in Torrance Oct. 13, he said. Anyone with more information was urged to call police at (310) 318-0330.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (11)
  1. Jim says:

    Dumb, dumb – I mean why would anyone want those tickets, even for free?

  2. ozzilla says:

    Wow, Debra must have a pair of Brass ones trying to dupe all those poor people. Did she put on her best “Poker Face” as she was trying to pawn her phony tickets to those fans going “GAGA” over finding seats to the concert?

  3. Dandy says:

    Debra I hope you get raped and beaten in Jail and that your parents suffer for you doing. watch out for the guy that your dating that put you up to this

    1. Art says:

      Why does a guy have to be behind this according to you. Are you saying She was too dumb to have thought this up


    Debra Brass bought six tickets from Ticketmaster in March 2010. She planned to go to the Lady Gaga concert for her birthday with friends including Nicole Lagrotta and Lyndsay Eisenberg. By April, Brass’s friends had dropped out of the plans.
    Not wanting to attend the concert alone, Brass sold the six tickets she had purchased from Ticketmaster on craigslist to four people.
    About a week before the concert, Brass received a couple of phone calls from unknown individuals, claiming that they had purchased tickets with Brass’ name on them from craigslist and had been given her contact information. The unknown individuals claimed that Ticketmaster was stating that the electronic ticket order had been cancelled, and thus voided. Realizing that something was very wrong, in good conscience, Brass attempted to return the money to the people she had sold the tickets to. Ultimately, she wanted to discover what had happened, rectify the situation, and do the right thing.
    She got through to one of the four individuals, a man named David Lassiter. Brass told him that she believed the tickets had been duplicated and offered to refund him. He understood the situation and accepted her offer, and had no intention of filing any criminal or civil actions against Brass, and signed a receipt confirming so.
    On the night of the concert, two of the men Brass had sold tickets to, sent her an email threatening her that they would go to the police, believing she had duped them.
    Brass spent the night of her birthday with her family at Kate Mantelini Restaurant in Woodland Hills. After dinner, Brass went to stay with a friend in the Southbay, as she was afraid to go home due to the threatening email she had received. Distraught and unable to sleep, Brass, the next morning, went to Hermosa Beach Police Station and met with Lance McColgan, a Hermosa Beach police officer who was investigated in the ‘90s after being detained at the Mexican border with undeclared steroids. Brass told him what happened. He told her not to worry about the situation and go home.
    Less than an hour later, McColgan showed up at Brass’s apartment saying there had been a police report made against her and asking her to go to the police station. Brass complied and immediately left for the police station to speak with the detectives.
    When she arrived, Brass was taken into an interrogation room and questioned for almost two hours by Detective Mick Gaglia. Detective Gaglia was a named defendant in a 2007 lawsuit alleging that Hermosa Beach detectives had violated the civil rights of one Enrique Coello. Detective Gaglia told Brass that he had received a police report from a Hermosa Beach resident regarding the tickets. Cooperating, Brass answered all of the detective’s questions regarding the case and repeated the events to Detective Gaglia and again was sent home.
    Later, that same day, Brass received an email from a girl to whom she had sold two tickets. The girl said she saw other people at the venue with the same ticket numbers. At that point, Brass then realized that when distributing the tickets she purchased, she had inadvertently sold only four of them to six people, having accidentally deleted one set of tickets and accidentally reproduced one set. When Brass received a call from the girl, she met with her and her mother, refunded them, and they signed a receipt that they would not pursue civil charges and that they would notify the detective that they had been refunded.
    That same day, immediately after refunding the girl’s money, Brass then met Gaglia again at the station and gave them a copy of the receipt. For the third time that day, Brass left the station on her own volition even after Gaglia informed her that many more had come forward saying they received duplicated tickets.
    Upon leaving the police station, Brass went and retained Attorney Allison Margolin, who spoke to Detective Gaglia and informed him that Brass was still concerned with the situation and that she would cooperate with detectives to get to the bottom of it. Margolin also suggested to Gaglia that they should pursue the real perpetrator(s) who were ultimately responsible for the duplication. Margolin informed the detective that if detectives wanted to arrest Brass, she would make Brass available and surrender her to the court at any time the case was filed.
    Last week, Detective Gaglia said that the case would go to his supervisor the next week and then to a filing deputy. Though he maintained that the detectives had probable cause to make an arrest after Brass’ original statements, he never indicated any intention to make an arrest. His actions, allowing Brass to leave the station, in fact, indicated the opposite.
    On September 3, Detectives David Bohacik, who was disciplined in early 2000 by the Police Department, and was named in 2003 as a defendant in a civil rights case, and two other Hermosa Beach plain clothes officers went to Brass’ place of employment, stood in the doorway of her office, and handcuffed her.
    Officers then without a warrant illegally seized Brass’s phone and purse from her desk despite her request that the items be left at the office. Officers refused Brass’s request to call her attorney, and then grabbed and bruised her right arm as they led her out of her office (although she had not resisted her arrest).
    Officers declined the opportunity to take Brass to the police vehicle through a side door of her office, instead preferring to parade her in handcuffs past over 50 co-workers, humiliating her at her workplace.
    She was then subsequently booked at Hermosa Beach Police Department for the alleged charges of PC532(a), obtaining money by false pretenses. During the booking process, Detective Bohacik continually questioned her whether she was going to bond out or not. She was informed by Office Smith that if she couldn’t bond out, she would be transferred to County Jail Downtown and kept until after the long Holiday Weekend. Also during booking, items were retrieved from her purse without a search warrant or her permission. Subsequently, she was bonded out a short time later. Upon her release, Brass was so traumatized that it was hard for her to speak to her family or her attorney. A short time later, after being comforted by her family, she advised Zachary Lodmer, of the Law Office of Allison Margolin, that they had taken her phone and items in her purse without a search warrant and without her permission. Lodmer then asked for an evidence form that stated that these items had been seized, at which time they were told to wait. Several minutes later, her attorney was advised that Detective Bohacik refused to come to the front desk to speak to the attorney regarding the case against Brass. However, Officer Smith did supply an evidence form of the seized items.
    Around 11 p.m last night, while checking her personal email account, Brass discovered that an unknown person(s) had gained access to her email account and forwarded all emails, including her privileged emails between herself and her attorney, to an email supplied by the city of Hermosa Beach and Hermosa Beach Police Department. She subsequently contacted the Private Investigator Yvette Cesario-Smith of SCS International Investigations, in charge of her case, and her attorney and informed them of what had occurred.
    At 10pm last night, Hermosa Beach Police Department issued a Press Release in which they credit themselves with identifying and apprehending the suspect. The Police Department at best rushed to judgment and failed to investigate other potential perpetrator(s) despite the probability of the case involving multiple suspects not limited to Brass who has continually and voluntarily cooperated throughout this investigation.
    Since the press release last night, the city of Hermosa Beach and the Hermosa Beach Police Department have continued to publicize the alleged charges against Brass in the news, online, on the radio, and on television, causing further humiliation, emotional distress, and defamation of character. The way the Hermosa Beach Police Department has handled this situation is appalling and discourages those who have made honest mistakes from cooperating with police investigations. Brass came into the department of her own accord and yet was treated like a common criminal. And while the police planned and executed a public arrest, and failed to pursue or recognize other leads, the real culprit(s) are getting away scot-free.
    For any information on this case, please contact Allison Margolin at 323-653-1850 and/or Yvette Smith at 310-947-5449.

  5. Dandy says:

    Art because there is a group of girls doing this usually Mexican. She’s so bright she had people pick up the tickets at her house. Also what i’ve heard, she had a personalized license plate. Must be the hair color or nose.

  6. Dandy says:

    Art you must be a friend of hers or maybe a family member.

  7. vudu says:

    There is no reason to think a man put her up to this. She doesn’t appear mexican, so i doubt she is part of whatever group Dandy is referring to. She probobly just hought she had a good idea for some quick cash but heavily underestimated the seriousness of the crime and obviously wasn’t careful which may mean it was a last minute idea and not planned monhs ahea of time like it should have been.

  8. Tommy says:

    Get all the fact before you judge and comment on someones character

    1. elaine says:

      Very sad to see a young woman, with apparently no previous convictions, tried in the media like this. Aren’t we still innocent until proven guilty in this country? Let’s wait until all the evidence comes in.

  9. fidel says:

    I can’t believe she would do this and hurt so many people. Her parents even live in a mansion in Calabasa with Merecede.

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