Man accused of selling fake Universal tickets to family
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Pennsylvania family is smiling a little bigger, knowing the man deputies say nearly robbed them of their dream vacation is behind bars.
Stephen Dionne, 33 is charged with defrauding the family out of thousands of dollars in a theme park ticket scheme.
"The guy just seemed so legit," said one of those family members, named Ashley. "We were trying to figure out how to get them cheap since there were so many of us, and I saw a few ads on line."
According to deputies, Dionne told Ashley that his name was "Mike."
"He gave me some pricing, I mean we were just texting each other back and forth," Ashley explained.
They agreed on a price for nine Universal Orlando tickets and fast passes. She said Dionne suggested meeting her where she was at the time, Disney Springs, to sell her the tickets.
"Because there's a lot of police and it's safe. There's security guards," Ashley said. "He had the tickets in his hand."
She said she gave Dionne $1260 in cash.
"He wrote all the ticket numbers down, as if he was counting them off for like inventory of something."
When Ashley and her family went to use those tickets at Universal the next day, she said they didn't work.
"It was just immediate, you know like, hit the bad buzzer kind of sound...and then the guy was just like, 'You have to step out the side of the line. It seems your tickets aren't scanning,'" said Ashley.
Then, security immediately asked her where she bought the tickets.
"I told him this guy 'Mike.' He said 'Does he happen to look like this?' and he pulled his phone out and he actually had a picture of the same exact person," said Ashley.
Instead of getting mad, Ashley got even. Deputies said she used a different phone number and gave a fake name and made a deal with Dionne to buy more theme park tickets. When Dionne showed up for the second hand off, deputies handcuffed him.
Ashley is hoping her lesson learned and Dionne's susequent arrest prevent other families from making the same mistake she did, in trying to find half price theme park tickets.
Dionne is being held on a $13,000 bond.