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Men charged with ticket counterfeiting

Mary Kate Malone | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office filed charges Tuesday against three New York men related to the sale of counterfeit Notre Dame football tickets.

Arnold Conyers, 27, Dennel Friday, 27, and Timothy Lang, 22, of Bronx, N.Y., were each charged with forgery and could face up to eight years in prison.

They were arrested Saturday and will remain in the St. Joseph County Jail until their arraignment at 1 p.m. today in the St. Joseph County Superior Court, according to a supplemental affidavit filed by St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joel Gabrielse.

Associate Athletic Director John Heisler sent the affidavit along with a press release to members of the media Tuesday.

Friday and Lang were both caught selling “very good quality” counterfeit tickets before the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game Saturday, Gabrielse said in the affidavit.

Notre Dame Security/Police (NDSP) plain-clothes officers apprehended Friday, and Lang was caught after Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Bill Kirk witnessed him selling counterfeits.

The tickets Friday and Lang sold matched the counterfeit tickets that NDSP gathered after the Sept. 9 Notre Dame-Penn State game. Altogether, police have recovered roughly 170 counterfeit tickets for the last two home football games.

While Conyers was arrested Saturday, he was charged in connection with counterfeit ticket sales before the Penn State game one week earlier. Gabrielse said Conyers sold three counterfeit tickets Sept. 9 to a football fan who was not aware they were invalid. The fan took a picture of the seller after he bought the tickets, which allowed police to identify Conyers as he walked near Dorr Road and U.S. 31 Saturday.

Conyers, too, sold “very high quality” tickets. The only difference between the recovered counterfeit tickets and authentic tickets was “a lack of details in the Notre Dame hologram,” according to the affidavit.

Neither Conyers, Friday nor Lang admitted to selling counterfeit tickets, though Lang said he knew “something might be wrong” with the tickets he was selling.

All three men have been connected to recent counterfeiting schemes around the country. Conyers was convicted in two separate cases of forgeries involving Madison Square Garden in New York, and the National Football League is currently investigating both him and Lang for forged tickets. Also, Friday told police that he traveled with two men who were under investigation by the NFL. However, the affidavit did not specify if Friday’s travel companions were Lang and Conyers.

The three men are each being held on a $5,000 cash bond.