Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

University of Tampa student facing federal charge in StubHub scam

UT student Sachin Kumar, 22,
has “accepted responsibility … and agreed to pay restitution,” his attorney says.


UT student Sachin Kumar, 22, has “accepted responsibility … and agreed to pay restitution,” his attorney says.

TAMPA — University of Tampa student Sachin Kumar lived it up a little in 2013. His Facebook page shows trips to India, Dubai, Chicago, Miami and his home state of New York.

Though he griped about tuition costs, he boasted of a leather couch and a 55-inch TV.

"Life is good," he wrote.

But federal court records suggest Kumar enriched himself that year by selling fraudulent events tickets over the Internet sales platform StubHub, using accounts set up in at least one fictitious name: "Lester Salmon."

Kumar, now 22, collected $49,121, and StubHub spent $172,047 furnishing victims of the scam with replacement tickets, according to a plea agreement Kumar signed. Had all tickets sold, he could have netted $279,949, the record states.

Attorney Mark O'Brien, who represents Kumar, said others were involved and his client got only a portion of the proceeds.

Kumar is the only participant the government has charged.

StubHub, which guarantees that sellers will be paid and that buyers will get tickets comparable to those promised, did not answer requests for comment.

O'Brien said Kumar regrets his "youthful indiscretion." He was 19 years old in January and February of 2013, dates singled out in the formal charge.

"He has since accepted responsibility for his actions and agreed to pay restitution," O'Brien said. "Mr. Kumar now awaits his fate at sentencing and hopes to be afforded the opportunity to finish his last semester of college and move forward with his life."

By an oddity of circumstances, Kumar has yet to face a federal judge, though his plea agreement is dated Oct. 8.

It wasn't filed until Jan. 6. He was expected to make an initial appearance, seek bond and plead guilty in February, but his attorney reported that Kumar was hospitalized after a Jan. 15 hit-and-run car crash in the Dominican Republic. That put the court case on hold.

O'Brien wrote that Kumar had suffered several broken bones and couldn't travel until at least June, resetting the court appearance until early next week.

Then, on Wednesday, O'Brien delivered more grim news.

In a motion to Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III, the attorney wrote that Kumar underwent surgery, fell and broke more bones and now requires more surgery. O'Brien asked to delay the hearing until January. He told a reporter Kumar is hospitalized in Long Island, N.Y., but declined to say where, citing patient privacy laws.

The University of Tampa expects him back in August, a spokesman said. On Facebook, Kumar describes himself as a biology and predental student.

Under a deal worked out with prosecutors, Kumar would plead guilty to a single count of use of a fictitious name, a federal crime punishable by no more than five years in prison.

As described in the record, the scheme relied in part on change of address notices filed with the U.S. Postal Service in the name of a fictitious seller. They caused payments to be rerouted to addresses and post office boxes associated with Kumar.

He posted more than 100 ticket ads and submitted more than 180 changes of address, the agreement states. The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Patty Ryan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3382.

University of Tampa student facing federal charge in StubHub scam 07/17/15 [Last modified: Friday, July 17, 2015 9:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rick and Tom podcast: Where does Winston rank among top QBs?


    Where does Bucs QB Jameis Winston rank among current NFL QBs this year? The result might shock you. Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down a new poll by Sports Illustrated in their latest podcast.

    Where does Jameis Winston rank among the NFL's top quarterbacks?
  2. Early morning fire breaks out at Clearwater Beach motel


    Clearwater Fire and Rescue is at the scene of an early morning fire that broke out at a motel on Clearwater Beach.

  3. Florida education news: Free speech, Schools of Hope, student voices and more


    FREE SPEECH: The University of Florida reluctantly hosts white nationalist activist Richard Spencer for a rally officials are encouraging students to ignore. Campus president Kent Fuchs, who tried to prevent the activity from taking place, Troopers prepare for Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency for Alachua County ahead of the event.

  4. How old is too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween?

    Human Interest

    Brandi Eatman guesses the boy was at least 15 years old.

     Costume accessories at House of Make Believe at 1055 N Hercules Ave. in Clearwater. [CHERIE DIEZ | Times]
  5. Report: West Pasco channel dredges could cost up to $13.5 million

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The cost of dredging a dozen coastal canals serving seven west Pasco communities could reach nearly $13.5 million, according to a consultant's report.

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
 A consultant recommends that Pasco County consider a dozen canal dredging projects in west Pasco's coastal communities at a cost that could reach nearly $13.5 million. [WILL VRAGOVIC, Times 2011]