Two brothers from Chicago have been charged for allegedly running a scheme to defraud local sports fans, United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced Wednesday.
According to federal investigators, twin brothers Anthony "Tony" Casias and Leopold Casias Jr., 62, are accused of stealing money from San Diego sports fans through their company, L & T Sports Events, Inc.
FBI agents say the brothers charged clients in advance for travel, lodging, transportation and game tickets to out-of-town sporting events, such as a New York Giants game or football game at Notre Dame.
The brothers told customers they would purchase specific flights, game tickets and hotel accommodations for a set amount of money, but once the clients paid them, the brothers allegedly failed to provide nearly all of the services they had promised.
Instead, investigators say the Casias brothers diverted the payments into their own personal or business expenses.
In some cases, sports fans were left stranded in Oakland, Calif., Chicago and Hoboken, N.J., without game tickets, a hotel room or even a return plane ticket home to San Diego.
The Casiases would sometimes instruct their clients to pay a second time for tickets to whichever sporting event they were supposed to attend with false promises that they would eventually reimburse their clients for the additional expenses. The reimbursements never came, according to the indictment.
On one occasion, the defendants allegedly used one of their client’s credit cards to pay for another client’s trip to Hawaii.
Once the clients returned to San Diego, the brothers avoided them and failed to return their phone calls or refund their money.
FBI agents arrested the Casias brothers Tuesday.
They are scheduled for a readiness hearing before a judge on Jan. 14.
If convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the twins could face a maximum of 20 years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and mandatory restitution to their victims.
Anyone who may have been a victim of fraud at the hands of L&T Sports is urged to contact the San Diego FBI at (858) 565-1255.