LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A south Fort Myers man is behind bars tonight after deputies say he sold bogus University of Kentucky basketball season tickets to a fan.
In fact, those tickets never even existed and the suspect has been busted before. WINK News reporter Rachael Rafanelli talked to the victim, who says he's learned a valuable lesson.
Last year, Mickey Ross was watching a University of Kentucky Wildcats game at the Miller Ale House in the Gulf Coast Town Center, when he met Gary Brooks.
"As the game progressed, and the evening progressed, he was sitting pretty close to us - he brought up that he had season tickets," said Ross.
That was in April 2010. Five months later, Ross and some friends sent Brooks a $1,000 deposit for four season tickets to see the team play.
On October 6th, Brooks contacted Ross to say he had two more season tickets. Two days later Brooks got another $750 deposit for those tickets.
But Ross says the tickets never came, and Brooks started making excuses as to why he didn't have them. "Ended up, not returning the money and I eventually turned it over to the Lee County Sheriff's Department," Ross said.
Deputies say Brooks did send out three checks which all bounced. Ross says it's been a tough lesson to never take anyone at face value. "I decided to get on the Internet and do a little research on this person. I turned up enough to realize that I didn't need to be dealing with him," he said.
Brooks had been arrested and prosecuted in Kentucky for a different scam involving Super Bowl tickets. Detectives also discovered he was on probation for that scam, when he started selling those fraudulent University of Kentucky tickets.