Guilty plea expected in $700,000 fake skybox ticket business case

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A woman who allegedly defrauded people of about $700,000 by getting them to invest in her fake business of buying and reselling sporting events skybox tickets is likely to plead guilty this week, court records show.

Ailyn Roque was charged with wire fraud in December. A plea agreement hearing in the case is scheduled Friday in federal court in Alexandria.

According to a charging document, Roque engaged in her scam from about June 2011 through September 2012. The FBI first learned of the scheme in July 2012, from a lawyer who was representing two of Roque's victims in a civil suit. Shortly afterward, agents received information from Fairfax County police about a victim who allegedly lost $100,000 in the scheme.

In August 2012, FBI agents interviewed Roque, and she admitted that she received money by falsely telling investors that she would buy tickets to big sporting events, resell them and share the profits. She said that instead of using the money to buy tickets, she would use the funds to gamble, according to the document.

An FBI agent stated in the document that Roque has received funds from at least 17 investors that total approximately $700,000. Roque recruited one of these investors after she told law enforcement about the scheme.

Roque gave authorities the names of some of the investors that fell victim to her scheme. Police interviewed one of these investors, who said he wired Roque $11,000 to invest in a skybox for the Jan. 8, 2012 NFL playoff game in Denver between the Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. Roque emailed the victim a written agreement that indicated that he was going to receive a profit of $5,500 from the investment, according to the charging document.

Records from Roque's bank account show that she received a wire transfer of $11,000 from the victim's bank account on Jan. 6, 2012. She also received a transfer of $82,000 from the investor on March 30, 2012, which the victim believed was going to an investment in an NFL skybox for an entire season, the court document stated.

The criminal complaint specifically charges Roque with engaging in wire fraud on or near March 30. At the time of the transfer, Roque was in Virginia, and the victim was in Florida.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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Naomi Jagoda

Staff reporter
The Washington Examiner