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Serial Fraudster Blames Return to Jail on Gambling Addiction

Shaun Nixon is currently behind bars for his fourth fraud conviction in seven years.

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By Desiree Bowie

08/22/14

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"I don't enjoy what I do, but I do it because I have a gambling problem," said Shaun Nixon, a 34-year-old notorious serial scammer currently serving his fourth sentence for ticket fraud since 2007.

Nixon has reportedly ripped off hundreds, maybe thousands of people using his notorious Craigslist ticket scams. In a long con he’s been using for over a decade, Nixon would post hot items like concert tickets to sites. Unknowing buyers would then send money for in-demand items such as a One Direction concert or Toronto Leafs tickets, and never hear from Nixon again.

Nixon and his arsenal of aliases like Shaun Michael, Adam Carson, and Ryan Robertson became so infamous for his crimes that an entire consumer watchdog website, Shaun Nixon Scam, was launched featuring complaints from spurned concertgoers and sport fans who fell victim to his schemes.

“I was shocked—I didn’t think anyone would be crazy enough to do that,” Nixon said of the rush he got after successfully conning his first victim. “I got carried away...It spiraled from there."

Nixon said in a recent interview from the Maplehurst Correctional Complex that the reason he continues using the con is the “desperation” caused by his gambling addiction, which dates back to his first visit to Casino Rama in 2004. He said that he was pursuing help for the addiction so that he can end his cycle of re-offending. He also claimed that he is being transferred to another institution in order to receive counseling, though a spokesperson for the province’s Ministry of Corrections would not confirm Nixon’s transfer.

Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, professor of psychiatry at McGill University and a gambling expert, said many people who are addicted to gambling do “whatever it takes” in order to get the funds to keep gambling.

“Obviously this individual is creative, but not creative enough not to get caught, in order to keep fueling his need to go back to the casino,” Derevensky said.

“This isn’t the way I want to be,” Nixon said. He was sentenced to two-years in prison on July 3, after pleading guilty to multiple charges, including defrauding the public and breach of probation. Peel police alleged that Nixon’s scam transactions ranged from $500 to $2,000. Nixon has also served time for the scheme in 2007, 2011, and 2012.

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