It’s happened again. A major organization has discovered one of its employees has been stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in sports tickets.
In this case, it’s the University of Minnesota. And the employee was Brent Holck, its former ticketing director. In 2017 the university began discovering discrepancies among its ticket records. It terminated Holck and referred the matter over to the FBI to investigate further. The FBI found that Holck had created a sophisticated scheme to personally benefit from the school’s sports tickets. He would find completed sales in the university’s ticket system then delete the order and have refunds issued to his accounts. He siphoned funds off tickets for five years before the school discovered inconsistencies in its recordkeeping system.
Holck has now begun to serve a 21-month prison sentence, and the Univerity of Minnesota is anxiously trying to assure patrons that fans did not suffer as a result of his ticket racket.
Why do organizations continue to discover ticket fraud in their midst? A few months ago, it was Microsoft. The tech giant found one of its marketing managers had routed millions of dollars, including Super Bowl tickets, into his personal bank account. The reason is simple: tickets are like petty cash. When organizations try to track them using old-world tools like Excel, they’re just asking for abuse.