FORT MYERS, Fla.- A South Fort Myers man has been arrested for fraudulently selling University of Kentucky season tickets that he never owned, and in one case, seats that never existed.
Gary S. Brooks, 57, has been charged with 1 count of Scheme to Defraud, 1 count of Grand Theft, and 3 counts of Uttering Worthless Checks.
Brooks targeted his first victim in April 2010 at the Miller Ale House in the Gulf Coast Town Center, 10065 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers. The victim was watching a University of Kentucky basketball game with a friend. Brooks approached the two and offered to sell them four tickets to the University of Kentucky basketball season.
Brooks said his father had purchased the tickets to Rupp Arena and before he passed away had given them to Brooks. Brooks provided his contact information to the victim so the transaction could be arranged. The victim contacted Brooks in September of 2010 to purchase the season tickets. The communication between the two took place over the internet and by phone. Brooks told the victim he wanted a $1000.00 deposit for the tickets. The victim was out of state so he contacted the friend in Florida who had been with him at the Ale House and they bought the tickets together. The friend paid the $1000.00 deposit. A purchase agreement was prepared and signed.
On October 6, 2010 Brooks contacted the victim again and said he had two more season tickets that he was selling. The victim agreed to purchase the tickets on behalf of another friend. On October 8, 2010 the two met at Miller’s Ale House and another agreement was made in the amount of $750.00. A purchase agreement was prepared and signed for this transaction as well.
After the transactions were completed, Brooks did not provide the tickets and began making excuses and claimed to be very ill. Eventually the basketball season started and the victim asked for the money to be refunded. Brooks agreed to refund the $1750.00.
On December 9, 2010 Brooks wrote out three checks, to repay the original victim and the other two parties who had made agreements to purchase tickets. The following day the victim called the bank and learned the account had been closed due to insufficient funds.
Due to the nature of the case, detectives with the Economic Crimes Unit of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation. During the course of their investigation they discovered Brooks was arrested and prosecuted in Kentucky for a scam that involved the sale of super bowl tickets. Detectives also discovered Brooks was placed on probation for the super bowl scam and he had his probation transferred to Fort Myers, Florida, where he established residency.
Detectives contacted the director of tickets for the University of Kentucky Rupp Arena and were told Brooks did not have any season tickets for the sections and rows identified in the contracts and that one of the rows did not even exist.
Based on the investigation in its entirety, detectives arrested Gary S. Brooks for the fraud. They also notified his probation officer of the felonies he committed while on probation.