Two internet touts, who illegally re-sold tickets to high profile events for an inflated price are going to receive their sentences later today (24 February).

Peter Hunter and David Smith – who traded as Ticket Wiz and BZZ – made millions from buying and reselling tickets to high profile events like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift concerts. 

They were found guilty of fraudulent trading following a landmark trial which ended earlier this month.

The married pair used multiple identities and computer bots to buy £4 million worth of tickets over two-and-a-half years, selling them on secondary ticketing websites for a total of £10.8 million, prosecutors told Leeds Crown Court.

The court heard how the pair re-sold tickets to high profile music concerts and West End hits like Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, using the "big four" secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, GetMein, StubHub and Seatwave.

Ed Sheeran’s manager, Stuart Camp, gave condemning evidence in the long-running trial, telling jurors they had decided to take a stand against touts after spotting £7,000 seats for Sheeran's charity gig when they were originally £75.

National Trading Standards (NTS) said Hunter and Smith bought more than 750 Ed Sheeran concert tickets alone in 2017.

A NTS spokesman said it was “a landmark case” which marks “the first successful prosecution against a company fraudulently reselling tickets on a large scale”.


Police raided the fraudulent pair's north London home, finding 112 different payment cards in 37 different names.

NTS said Hunter and Smith used at least 97 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to evade platform restrictions.

A jury found the pair guilty of three counts of fraudulent trading, which included falsely representing their identities when buying tickets and failing to inform consumers buying tickets that they were at risk of being refused entry.

The scammers used bots and certain web browsers to hide their IP address
The touts used bots and certain web browsers to hide their IP address


They were also guilty of “fraudulently reducing the number of event tickets available for consumers to purchase at face value”.

The pair were also found guilty of spec-selling – which is selling tickets they did not own.

Hunter and Smith were also convicted of possessing an article for fraud, as they used computer bots and web browsers to hide their IP addresses.

Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, told the jury that Hunter and Smith were “dishonest fraudsters motivated by greed”.

However, Hunter and Smith argued that they did nothing wrong and Hunter’s defence team told the jury that they were a trusted and reliable source of tickets.

Ben Douglas-Jones, representing Hunter, said that his client was no more greedy than other businessman providing a service.

Hunter, who is originally from Dublin, told the jury how he started his business when a friend without a credit card asked him to buy tickets for a Madonna concert for her and he realised he could re-sell extra purchases at a huge profit.

Leading ticket fraud expert, Reg Walker, said the trial could trigger a wider criminal investigation into the re-selling of tickets on the major secondary websites.

Hunter, 51, and Smith, 66, of Crossfield Road, north London, will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (24 February).

They were bailed after their convictions but were told by Judge Mushtaq Khokhar: “Just because I’m granting you bail does not mean to say that a custodial sentence is not open to the court.”