The charity soccer match, publicized on Cherokee Street, never happened.
The event was billed as a charity match between former players of the Chivas
pro soccer teams. It would be held, the Mexican promoter promised, on September 25 at Fenton Soccer Park. Hundreds of tickets were sold; radio spots were run; a buzz was created.
And it never happened. The promoter was a fraud. Hector Medina
, owner of Tacqueria El Torito
, says he bought radio spots to trumpet the event. He sold about 300 tickets at prices ranging from $20 to $50.
Across the street, Carlos Dominguez
's La Carniceria Latino Americana
also sold tickets.
However, Minerva Lopez
, owner of the soccer shop called Gooolll!
, had a bad feeling when the promoter called her in search of another sponsor. She remembers asking which players were coming.
The scammer replied that Manuel Sol
was coming. Lopez was surprised. She happens to be personal friends with Sol.
[scammer] never called me back," Lopez recalls. But she did a little
digging and called her soccer player friend, who said he'd not even
heard of the upcoming event. Then, Lopez got a call from an official at
the soccer park, who informed her that no such charity match was
scheduled on the date in question.
Just a day or two before the match, word spread that the community has been hoodwinked.
says the scammer only collected money for 100 of his tickets. He
reimbursed those customers out of his own pocket. All told, he says he
lost $6,000. He filed a police report, and has been contacted by the
FBI. But he seemed to be taking the loss in stride.
"To me," he tells Daily RFT
, "it's better than if somebody had come with a gun and said, 'Give me everything.'"