An Orlando, Florida man flew to the Twin Cities in April with the sole purpose of selling fake Wild hockey tickets, authorities allege.
The suspect, Michael R. Nottrodt, allegedly sold 23 fake tickets for $3,350 for the April 22 playoff game against the St. Louis Blues, according to one count of theft by swindle filed against him in Ramsey County District Court.
"Nottrodt flew back to Orlando, Florida the day after the Wild shamed the Blues 6-1," said the criminal complaint. "It appears his only purpose to come to the Twin Cities was to perpetuate this ticket scam."
Nottrodt, 33, was charged Friday via arrest warrant, and is not in custody.
According to the complaint: Some of the victims told police that they met Nottrodt through a Craigslist ad selling tickets. Victims met with him at various locations to complete the transactions. Multiple transactions occurred at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub in St. Paul and the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) in Bloomington.
Victims also met with Nottrodt on a street corner, a gas station, Casper's Cherokee in Eagan and a Holiday Inn.
Nottrodt allegedly sold the tickets for $150 to $100 each, depending on the number of tickets being purchased at one time, and used the name Matt or Mike in his transactions. He also used one of two phone numbers, the complaint said. One number had a 612 area code and another number had a 651 area code.
Victims told police that he drove a dark blue Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Minnesota plates. Authorities later learned that the car was a rental.
All of the fraudulent tickets were sold in the name of a season ticket holder named JC who had tickets in Section 122, Row 2X.
Police were aided in their investigation by a concerned citizen who, according to the complaint, approached them and said, "It was probably the guy from Florida." The citizen gave police a description of the suspect and his vehicle. The citizen also provided pictures of the man, the man's minivan and a Florida driver's license in Nottrodt's name.
The complaint doesn't explain where and when the citizen approached police, and how the citizen obtained the information on Nottrodt.
Nottrodt has no previous convictions in Minnesota, according to court records, but has theft and forgery-related convictions in Ohio.
In mid-April, St. Paul police encouraged the public to purchase tickets from authorized dealers and issued warnings about the scheme.