CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 -Team found a downtown vendor cited for scalping Indians playoff tickets. When we checked his record, we found something startling.
Thomas McCarthy runs a large outdoor sports clothing business across from Progressive Field on game days. He’s had his business for years, and chances are you’ve bought something from him or walked past.
When we heard he’d been cited for scalping, we looked at Cleveland Municipal Court records. They show more than 20 cases involving scalping or vendor’s permits since the 1990s. There were only four convictions.
The I-Team walked up to McCarthy before Game 2 of the Indians playoff series. He walking away, saying, "I'm not involved with this interview... I don't want to try any of these cases in the news.”
The city has specific corners set aside for selling tickets downtown. Of course, the city has regulations about vendors setting up shop.
Another man we met selling tickets on the street admitted he scalps tickets. But he can’t understand how anyone can keep beating the system. He wouldn’t give us his name, but he said,"I've gotten tickets before. Always found guilty. I always plead guilty or no contest, ‘cause I know what I'm doing."
As for McCarthy’s vendor permit, the I-Team contacted city hall. But we got no information. Instead, we were told we'd have to file a formal request with the law department. That process that can take weeks or months.
In the end, McCarthy was not speaking on camera before his next day in court.
Off camera he said the latest case involved tickets that someone he knew had paid for earlier and all he did was hand them over. He’s likely to get his next chance to defend himself in court in the next couple of weeks.