CHICAGO — A ticket broker convicted of fraudulently selling White Sox tickets on StubHub in 2020 is now in trouble with the team’s cross-town rivals for allegedly selling counterfeit Chicago Cubs gear outside Wrigley Field.
Federal prosecutors accused Bruce Lee and two White Sox employees of running a scheme in which the employees sold fraudulently-generated complimentary and discount tickets to Lee, which Lee then sold through his company on StubHub. Authorities said Lee earned about $868,369 by selling approximately 34,876 fraudulently obtained tickets between 2016 and 2019. The White Sox employees allegedly received $100,000 from Lee for the tickets.
Lee, 37, was convicted on eleven counts of wire fraud during a jury trial in October 2021.
During the federal investigation, Lee allegedly told the FBI that he believed the ticket operation was the “American way, take care of a guy, and you get taken care of.”
Now, Cook County prosecutors have charged Lee with unauthorized use of trademarks for allegedly selling counterfeit Chicago Cubs gear outside the Friendly Confines.
Cook County Sheriff’s Police launched an investigation into Lee’s operation last month, making an undercover purchase of two Cubs bucket hats from him near the ballpark on April 24, Assistant State’s Attorney Domenica Devitt said Friday.
A Major League Baseball official inspected the hats, which Lee sold for $25 each, and determined that they were counterfeits, Devitt alleged during Lee’s bail hearing on Friday afternoon.
Investigators made another undercover purchase from Lee on Wednesday, purchasing another $25 bucket hat with a Cubs logo. It was also counterfeit, according to the league official.
Upon arresting Lee, officials seized 78 counterfeit bucket hats that, if genuine, would be worth $2,963.22, Devitt said. The sheriff’s office said “a few Chicago Bears beanie hats” were also in Lee’s possession at the time of his arrest.
Lee received an 18-month federal prison sentence for the White Sox ticket broker scheme and is currently on federal supervised release. But he is appealing the conviction, and oral arguments are set for Thursday, his defense attorney said Friday.
The lawyer said Lee currently works full-time as a ticket broker with Chicago sports venues and theaters. He and his partner have been together for 18 years, and he is the sole provider for their children, ages 10 and 6, said his attorney.
Judge Maryam Ahmad set bail at $2,900, the approximate value of the seized bucket hats. Lee must post 10% of the amount to get out of jail.