Former Phoenix Suns employee Jeffrey Marcussen pleads guilty to illegally selling team tickets and agrees to pay restitution

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A former Phoenix Suns ticket manager has pleaded guilty to illegally selling more than 2,800 team tickets through a third party from 2017 to 2019 and agreed to pay the team $458,218 in restitution, according to a plea agreement filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Jeffrey Marcussen, who worked for the Suns from 2004 to 2019, is expected to be sentenced on June 7 for fraud and theft. Such charges could carry a maximum sentence of 13 years in prison, but, in the plea agreement submitted to the judge, prosecutors instead asked for probation with, at most, one year in prison. Marcussen must also pay $1,780 to the Arizona attorney general’s anti-racketeering revolving fund and $11,818 to the Arizona Department of Revenue, court records show.

The case involving Marcussen, 44, is unrelated to the NBA’s investigation into the Phoenix Suns and majority owner Robert Sarver.

According to court records, Marcussen was charged in September 2020 with four felonies, two of which were for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors allege Marcussen sold the tickets on StubHub, an online ticket retail site, without permission. The Suns do not sell tickets on the platform.

“StubHub contacted the NBA when it discovered five different Stub Hub accounts, all of which were linked to the defendant,” prosecutors wrote in a November 2020 response to Marcussen’s motion to change terms of release and travel. out of state. “After an internal audit by the Phoenix Suns organization, which included a confession from the defendant, law enforcement investigated the matter. The investigation revealed, and bank records confirmed, that the defendant received a total payout from Stub Hub of $458,218.”

Suns employees were notified via a company-wide email in late June 2019 that Marcussen was no longer employed by the team, although no reason was given in the email. email, team sources said. In the team’s 2018-19 media guide, Marcussen’s title was listed as assistant manager, Suns Ticketing.

Neither the Suns nor the Arizona attorney general’s office responded to requests for comment.

In a statement to ESPN, Marcussen’s attorney, Mark Kokanovich, said, “Jeff worked for the Phoenix Suns for almost 20 years. After the tragic cold-blooded murder of his brother near the end of Jeff’s career with the Suns, Jeff began selling tickets. without team approval. Jeff admitted the sales and reimbursed the team while cooperating with the Arizona Attorney General’s office.

Marcussen’s brother, Thomas, was killed in 2014.

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