Texas Jingle Ball Scam

A San Angelo, Texas, broadcast company is footing the bill for refunds to about 1,900 angry ticket holders for a December 30th “Jingle Ball Jam” concert that turned out to be a sham.

Fred Key, Foster Communications Inc. executive officer, told the San Angelo Standard-Times that refunds will be given out January 7th at the San Angelo Convention Center.

The concert was to feature Ashanti, Chris Brown and Twista at the convention center’s San Angelo Coliseum, but nobody told the venue that. Just hours before the start time, promoter Skip Stein allegedly disappeared with the cash without signing a contract.

Key told the paper that Stein paid to advertise the concert on company radio station KIXY-FM. Neither the radio station nor two ticket outlets had any idea that Stein or his business, Universal Bash Stein Entertainment, were not legit.

They also didn’t know that the show was never booked into the Coliseum. Fans arrived to find a sign that read, “There is not a concert scheduled for this evening. For more information contact your ticket outlet.”

Managers of the two “Jingle Ball Jam” ticket outlets said the people who came to collect ticket money seemed legitimate. When one ticket manager asked a man collecting ticket money about Twista’s scheduled New Year’s Eve performance in New York City, the man told him that Twista was offered more money to perform in Dallas.

“He was a straight talker,” ticket manager Daryl Martinez told the Standard-Times. The managers said a man collected $40,000 in ticket money December 28th.

Foster officials decided to refund about $24,000 to ticket holders even though the company isn’t liable, according to the Standard-Times.

The phony promoter allegedly worked the scam by telling KIXY Program Director David Carr that the artists were already performing in Texas on New Year’s Eve and wanted to piggyback with a concert in the area. It was discovered after the fact that none of the artists were scheduled to be in the area.

The alleged con man, whom no one involved had actually seen, conducted business via cell phone outside of picking up about $40,000 in ticket sales in person, the paper said.

A call to the convention center was not returned at press time.