Marc Hamid, the former owner of Sky Box on Sheffield (a Wrigley Field Rooftop), was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday, after being found guilty of defrauding the Chicago Cubs (in addition to the government and various caterers) of roughly $600K.
It’s an icky news story, to say the least, but it revolves around the Cubs, so it must be discussed.
After having repeatedly stating that he simply wasn’t aware of what he was doing, according to reports, Hamid finally came clean about scamming the Cubs and others out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. After a two-week trial, a jury found him guilty of four counts of mail fraud and five counts of illegally structuring bank transactions.
In case you were unaware, the Chicago Cubs and the rooftops outside of Wrigley Field have an agreement wherein they’re (the rooftops) allowed to sell tickets and profit from their view of Wrigley Field, in exchange for 17% of their gross revenue. If you remember back, this is why the rooftops put up such a fight against the construction of signage in left and right field – their view of the stadium (and thus ability to sell tickets and make money) would potentially be obstructed.
Fortunately for the Cubs, the construction of the two video boards (and other outfield signage) is considered an expansion of the stadium (not a purposeful obstruction of view), which happens to be covered by their contract with the rooftops. The lawsuit about the signage was largely resolved in October 2015, and the Ricketts family has purchased eleven of the total sixteen rooftops on Waveland and Sheffield Avenue – you can check out their site here.
Hamid, according to multiple reports, hid roughly $1.5 million in rooftop revenue – meaning that the Cubs, alone, were shorted about $250,000.
In the investigation – which we first wrote about back in March 2015 and again in April – it was learned that two other people were a part of the scheme and scammed another $500,000 or so in the process. Their sentencing hearings are scheduled for the end of February and beginning of March. It’s expected that they’ll receive a slightly lesser punishment, but it could still include jail time.