February 9, 2005
Bogus Christmas Show Targeting Students Results in Mail Fraud Conviction
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida (Miami) discussed a conviction on Feb. 7 of David Ellisor for running a scam on local elementary school students who purchased tickets to a program at the Coconut Grove Convention Center called "Christmas From Around the World." The press release states:
At trial, the government proved that Ellisor targeted students and teachers at Miami-Dade County public and private schools, promising that the event would be a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and that students attending the event would receive raffle tickets to win “thousands of dollars of sponsored gifts.” Over 2,700 victims, from at least twenty (20) Miami-area schools, paid the $10 per person fee requested by Ellisor, and made arrangements to attend the event, supposedly scheduled for December 3-5, 2003. Local business also provided money to Ellisor based upon his promises about the event. When the first group of students arrived at the Convention Center on the morning of December 3, they found the building locked, with no information about the event, and Ellisor nowhere to be found. Ellisor never met the requirements for staging an event at the Convention Center. Ellisor also collected thousands of dollars in fees for the event, which he then took as cash or used for personal expenses, including a hotel suite, a Jaguar and a watch which he estimated at $5,000.
Targeting kids with a fake holiday show is about as low as one can go, and the now-advisory guidelines might not be of much help to Mr. Ellisor. (ph)
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