Feds: 2 charged in scam banking on 'Hamilton,' Adele shows

Markets Associated Press

  • Joseph Meli leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail in a Ponzi scheme case. Prosecutors say he conspired to misappropriate tens of millions of dollars after raising $81 million from wealthy people who thought they were investing in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's "Hamilton." (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)

    Joseph Meli leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail in a Ponzi scheme case. Prosecutors say he conspired to misappropriate tens of millions of dollars after raising $81 million from ... wealthy people who thought they were investing in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's "Hamilton." (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister) (The Associated Press)

  • Steven Simmons leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail on charges that he conspired to cheat wealthy investors in 13 states of tens of millions of dollars. Prosecutors say the conspiracy raised $81 million by promising investors they could share profits in ticket resale businesses for popular shows like Broadway's "Hamilton" and an Adele concert. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)

    Steven Simmons leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail on charges that he conspired to cheat wealthy investors in 13 states of tens of millions of dollars. Prosecutors say the conspiracy ... raised $81 million by promising investors they could share profits in ticket resale businesses for popular shows like Broadway's "Hamilton" and an Adele concert. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister) (The Associated Press)

  • Joseph Meli leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail in a Ponzi scheme case. Prosecutors say he conspired to misappropriate tens of millions of dollars after raising $81 million from wealthy people who thought they were investing in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's "Hamilton." (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)

    Joseph Meli leaves Manhattan federal court Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in New York, after he was freed on $1 million bail in a Ponzi scheme case. Prosecutors say he conspired to misappropriate tens of millions of dollars after raising $81 million from ... wealthy people who thought they were investing in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's "Hamilton." (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister) (The Associated Press)

Two men have been charged in New York with cheating wealthy people who invested in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's "Hamilton."

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Joseph Meli and Steven Simmons were arrested Friday.

Authorities say they enticed wealthy people in 13 states to invest $81 million in businesses that would buy large blocks of tickets for major concerts and musicals. A criminal complaint says the men instead ran a Ponzi scheme that diverted at least $51 million of that money to pay off other investors and line their pockets.

They are charged in federal court with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud.

Lawyers for the men did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.