A Rockland County man has sued Citibank and the New York Yankees over a $26,000 charge on his credit card for season tickets he said he never ordered or received.
Citibank said the man’s son ordered the tickets from a broker who was later arrested in a $70 million Ponzi scheme. The bank wants its money back, and it has sued the card holder and the Yankees.
Jerry Zandman of Thiells claims that Citibank violated the federal Fair Credit Billing Act and the Truth in Lending Acts.
On April 9, according to Zandman’s complaint, the Yankees charged $26,000 to his account, without his knowledge or consent. Tickets were never provided.
The charge showed up on his May credit card statement. Zandman disputed the charge within the 60 days required by law, the complaint states, but Citi failed to reasonably investigate the error or reimburse him. He said he should have to forfeit no more than $50, under the fair credit law.
Zandman claims he also disputed the charge with the Yankees in July. He has accused the baseball club of unjust enrichment for keeping the $26,000.
The case was originally filed in Rockland Supreme Court in December. Citi had it transferred to federal court in White Plains on Jan. 29, with the Yankees’ consent.
An attorney for the Yankees did not respond to a request for comment.
Citi states in a court filing that it did investigate the disputed charge, and while the inquiry was pending it applied a provisional credit to Zandman’s account.
But the bank said it found that either Zandman ordered the tickets or he allowed his son, Michael, to use his credit card to order them. The tickets were bought from National Events Co., a ticket broker that held an account with the Yankees.
On May 31, the FBI arrested National Events’ CEO Jason Nissen, 44, of Rosyln, and charged him with wire fraud in an alleged $70 million Ponzi scheme.
Nissen allegedly told investors that he was using their money to buy premium tickets for major sporting events and Broadway shows and to resell the tickets at a profit. Instead, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, Nissen used the money to repay previous investors and to enrich himself.
Nissen has pleaded not guilty and the case is pending.
Citi noted that Zandman did not dispute his credit card charge until after Nissen was charged with a crime.
The bank countersued Zandman for breach of contract and unjust enrichment. He received the benefit of a loan, but has failed to reimburse Citi or pay the minimum amount due on the account. The unpaid balance as of mid-January was $27,097.
But if Citi is found liable for the disputed charge, the bank said, the Yankees have been unjustly enriched and should have to pay the charge.