The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday morning federal fraud charges had been filed against Marc Hamid, owner of Skybox on Sheffield, for “under-reporting attendance and revenue” between 2008 and 2011.
According to multiple reports, Hamid was indicted “on federal fraud charges for not paying about $600,000 owed to the Cubs as well as state and local taxing bodies.”
By under-reporting the attendance at Skybox on Sheffield, the Cubs did not receive the royalties from the rooftop club “they should have under the terms of the rooftop owners’ agreement with the team.”
The Tribune reported, “Skybox on Sheffield falsely reported that it had 200 or fewer attendees at certain events when more than 200 people had attended, making it appear that the club complied with ordinances limiting the number of people per event.”
False sales tax returns were filed with the state and false amusement tax reports were also filed with the City of Chicago and Cook County. According to the Tribune, Hamid “made $1.5 million more than he reported.”
As part of the scheme, Hamid “diverted revenue to his other businesses, including JustGreatTickets.com and Just Great Seats in order to conceal some of the rooftop revenues from the Cubs and others.” And he “used some of the unreported money for personal and business expenses.”
Marc Hamid was charged with four counts of mail fraud, each count carries “a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine or twice the loss or twice the gain.” Hamid will be arraigned at a later date.
Skybox on Sheffield is one of the two rooftops that filed a lawsuit against the Cubs in January that accused the team of breaching the terms of its revenue-sharing contract, engaging in deceptive business practices and acting in violation of anti-trust laws.
The suit was filed in January by majority owner, Ed McCarthy.
McCarthy is the majority owner of the properties at 3633 N. Sheffield (Lakeview Baseball Club) and 3627 N. Sheffield (Skybox at Sheffield).
The Cubs were in court Monday fighting the lawsuit filed in January against the Cubs and Tom Ricketts. U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Kendall has not ruled on the “request by Skybox and Lakeview Baseball Club to block them from putting up the video board until their broader lawsuit is resolved.”
- Full Report from the Tribune
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business
- Rooftop Owners File Lawsuit Against the Cubs (Jan. 20)