Mike Ornstein, a former league employee turned marketing agent, has pleaded guilty to federal charges related in part to the re-sale of Super Bowl tickets, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Daily.
According to Mullen, Ornstein allegedly conspired to sell tickets that had been purchased “from people who, through the course of their employment, had obtained the tickets at face value.” He also was charged with selling pieces of NFL jerseys which were falsely represented as being worn by NFL players in games.”
The counts in the federal case included mail fraud, wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, and money laundering.
Mullen reports that the plea deal was struck in June 2010, and that Ornstein is awaiting sentencing.
Ornstein has represented Saints running back Reggie Bush, and Yahoo! Sports previously has reported that Ornstein allegedly gave money and other benefits to Bush while he still was playing college football at USC. As Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports points out via Twitter, former USC coach Pete Carroll arranged an internship for Bush with Ornstein.
More recently, Ornstein helped market the book written by the coach of last year’s Super Bowl, Sean Payton.
It’s the second time that Ornstein has been convicted on federal charges. After the first incident, he continued to enjoy a close relationship with many key league figures. Those relationships could be seriously tested if Ornstein’s plea deal includes providing information regarding the manner in which the tickets were obtained from people who had obtained Super Bowl tickets through the course of their employment at face value, or regarding any other information that Ornstein may have that could harm the interests of the league.
In many cases, the folks who have access to Super Bowl tickets at face value through their employment are folks are employed by the NFL or one of the 32 member franchises.