Two New York City businessmen were indicted on March 7 for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that involved purported investments in Broadway show and concert tickets. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that the two men took in $97 million through the scheme from 138 investors from 17 states.

The SEC alleges that the men lured investors by promising that their money would be pooled to purchase bulk tickets to various popular shows, including “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” Adele concerts and others. Some of the events had been sold out for months in advance, and the ticket purchases were reportedly never made.

The men were charged with fraud in the scheme. The SEC alleges that they diverted $74 million of the investors’ funds to pay for their own personal and luxury items and to keep the Ponzi scheme running. The SEC has also named a number of relief defendants who allegedly received money from the scheme in the complaint, including the wife and mother of one of the men. That same man is facing a separate criminal case in which his investment company is alleged to have committed fraud.

White collar charges may be highly complex, involving thousands of pages of detailed financial and other documents. People who learn that they are the subject of investigations may want to obtain legal assistance before they are charged or indicted. Attorneys may organize documents and search for problems evidence. Depending on the specifics of the case, they may also work to negotiate agreements not to prosecute in exchange for the payment of restitution.