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Former Iowa radio personality Martin Tirrell sent to prison for participating in sports ticket scams for over ten years

This news story was published on January 23, 2021.
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DES MOINES — On January 20, 2021, United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose sentenced Martin James Tirrell, age 60, formerly of West Des Moines, to 41 months in prison for Mail Fraud announced Acting United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal. Following his prison term, Tirrell was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, as well as immediately pay $200 to the Crime Victims’ Fund. Tirrell was also ordered to pay over $1.4 million in restitution to victims.

Tirrell pleaded guilty to the offense on December 6, 2019. Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing established that Tirrell had been participating in sports ticket scams for over ten years. He marketed himself as a sports insider who had access to prime seating for sporting events. He found investors by giving them free sports tickets and access to VIP seating. Tirrell then convinced them to give him money to purchase sports tickets at a discount, that he would then sell to the general public at a higher price. Tirrell promised to return their investments and split the profits. Tirrell instead took the money and paid off other victims, made unauthorized purchases, or used the money to place online sports bets. When Tirrell was unable to find new “investors,” he kited checks, stole credit cards, and made fraudulent claims to banks to try to obtain more money to perpetuate his scheme. Tirrell also scammed people out of money by promising sports tickets, receiving payment, then failing to produce the promised tickets.

These matters were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ankeny Police Department. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


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9 Responses to Former Iowa radio personality Martin Tirrell sent to prison for participating in sports ticket scams for over ten years

  1. He Deserves a Marconi Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Its too bad. Marty is a very talented radio sports talk host. The problem with these things is the more talent you have, the easier it is to stumble onto a personally destructive path. Hopefully he can eventually pull his life back together and get back on radio. He could liven up ESPN radio. They really need it.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 26, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Things are getting even tougher for a set of Mason City stations. Alpha Media, owner of KLSS, The Moose, The Northwood station Hits 102.7, KGLO and KRIB, has filed for bankruptcy Sunday night. Alpha is based out of Portland. Good Luck to them!

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 24, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Another Democrat down.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    theres at least one in mason city who should be in prison too

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 24, 2021 at 9:29 am

      That’s been a rumor for years. Is there actually anyone honorable in the radio business in Mason City, Iowa? I mean we know they occasionally win “awards” – those little plastic trophies their own industry bakes up to give to each other – but really, is there any honor?