Super Bowl Tickets: Man Accused of Making $750,000 After Scamming Friends and Family Disappears

A Georgia man who allegedly made more than $750,000 in a Super Bowl ticket scam has disappeared.

ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported on Thursday that Ketan Shah, of Gwinnett County, made himself scarce after running a monthslong scam. Gwinnett County is approximately 30 miles east of Atlanta, where Super Bowl LIII will be hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

Around a dozen Georgians have accused Shah, who runs a digital printing shop and is a prominent businessman in the area, of selling fake tickets for Super Bowl LIII.

Alan Tartt, one of the victims, told Nicole Carr of Channel 2 that "everything seemed legit" and that Shah had a "squeaky-clean" reputation.

Tartt, a resident of Sandy Springs, about 17 miles north of Atlanta, said a mutual friend had connected him with Shah, to whom he began making $5,000 payments in November 2018 as deposits for tickets worth a combined $20,000.

However, Tartt failed to reach Shah when he tried to do so at the end of January to organize a meeting to get the tickets. Once he realized it was impossible to reach Shah, he turned to Sandy Springs police, Shah's bank and the FBI.

A number of other men from Atlanta filed similar accusations against Shah, indicating they had lost a similar amount of money, according to police reports.

The biggest loss was suffered by a businessman in Columbus, Georgia. The unnamed victim was reportedly promised a number of tickets as well as the chance to host an arena Super Bowl event. Neither ever materialized, and he was left $500,000 worse off.

"Right now, what we know of is just slightly over three quarters of a million dollars scammed out for Super Bowl–related stuff," Corporal Wilbert Rundles, a Gwinnett County police spokesperson, was quoted as saying by WSB-TV.

"It's not that he posted some ad and random people are contacting this guy for tickets and being scammed," Rundles continued. "He's known these people for many years. One of them he's known his whole life because it's his own mother, and he's taken advantage of them." Police records showed Shah's mother also accused him of theft tied to the scam.

His wife has not seen him since he vanished in January.

"He's been roaming all over the town," she told Carr. "I really don't know where he is now. I really don't."

According to the police report, Shah's relatives believe he traveled to Las Vegas at some point.

Rundles indicated that Gwinnett County police would look into the allegation.

"It's a very odd situation that you would take people this close to you and scam this kind of money—any money—but especially this large of an amount, and then just disappear," he said.

According to data released by mobile ticket platform SeatGeek last month, an average Super Bowl ticket was selling for $3,623 on Friday, compared with $5,263 on January 5, the day NFL postseason kicked off.

The current price is the lowest for Super Bowl tickets since the Denver Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Justin Heiman/Getty Images