Five men are alleged to have allowed two fraudsters, who have already admitted the scam, to use their bank accounts to receive money from unsuspecting victims.
Liverpool Crown Court was told the group allegedly withdrew money and passed it on to Craig Oâ€™Donoghue and Paul Murgatroyd from Anfield Â who pleaded guilty to selling forged tickets between September 2014 and February of this year.
All of the accused deny the money laundering charges.Â
Prosecutor Arthur Gibson went on to describe how The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) assessed and analysed the reports received through Action Fraud about the ticketing scam involving the selling website Craigslist.Â
He said: â€œTickets would be advertised on Craigslist. A customer would contact the number on the website and be given the bank details into which the price of the tickets was to be paid. Once the money was in the account it would be immediately withdrawn at an ATM using a cashcard.
â€œThe only problem was that obviously sooner or later one or more of the customers would report the fraud, as a result of which the bank would be notified and the bank account closed.
â€œThus the fraudsters could only use one bank account for a relatively short period of time before having to move on to another.â€
The reports were disseminated by theÂ NFIB to Merseyside Police due to the high number of bank accounts located in the Merseyside area.
An undercover investigation was subsequently launched led by Detective Sergeant Robert Viney of Merseyside Police.Â
Mr Gibson said: â€œThe police were able to identify the bank accounts into which the victims were made, but not the organisers of the fraud. Accordingly they set up an operation whereby undercover officers sought to purchase tickets. As a result the suppliers of the forged tickets were identified as Paul Murgatroyd and Craig Oâ€™Donoghueâ€.
â€œWhen their homes were searched blank pro forma tickets belonging to LFC, printers and other items used in the fraud were discovered.â€
All of the five men accept their accounts were used to convert criminal property, but deny they knew what the fraudsters were up to.
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