OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester says a Canadian man pleaded guilty Aug. 4 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Oklahoma companies to purchase OSU athletics tickets and toilet paper with stolen credit cards.
Steven Mesrop, 29, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada was also charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Mesrop and his associates operated a scheme to use stolen credit card and identity information to buy items such as event tickets and PPE to resell for a profit.
Authorities say at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conspirators began targeting U.S.-based businesses selling goods that were scarce due to the pandemic.
The scheme operated from Canada, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Greece, and Dubai.
The indictment alleges they targeted sports teams and event venues throughout the United States and Canada, including Madison Square Garden in New York City.
According to officials, Mesrop and his associates used 21 different email accounts and information from 52 stolen credit cards to purchase over 1,800 tickets to Oklahoma State University athletic events between November 2019 and January 2020. In March 2020, they also allegedly used stolen credit card information to purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of toilet paper from a paper supply company in Oklahoma City.
Yesterday, Mesrop pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
At sentencing, Mesrop faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a potential fine of $250,000.
He has been in custody since his arrest on March 18, 2021.