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Ex-Suns ticket manager gets 1-year jail sentence in fraud case

A former Phoenix Suns ticket manager was sentenced to one year in county jail and three years probation Friday on felony fraud and theft charges for illicitly selling more than 2,800 of the team's tickets through a third party from 2017 to 2019.

Jeffrey Marcussen, who worked for the Suns from 2004 to 2019, was indicted in September 2020 on four felonies, including two counts for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors alleged that Marcussen sold the tickets on StubHub, an online ticket retail site, without authorization. The Suns don't sell tickets on the platform.

Marcussen pled guilty in April, and, as part of the agreement, agreed to pay $458,218 to the Suns in restitution, according to court records. He also agreed to pay $1,780 to the Arizona Attorney General's anti-racketeering revolving fund and $11,818 to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Those funds have been paid in full.

In a statement to ESPN, Marcussen said, "I would like to apologize to the Phoenix Suns and all of my former colleagues within the organization that I worked with for over 20 years. I cherished my time with the Phoenix Suns and worked with several amazing people. Because of that, it was important for me to make full restitution to the organization as soon as possible. I would also like to apologize to my family and friends. I appreciate all of their love and support. I would not have been able to get through this without them."

His one-year jail sentence is scheduled to begin December 1, but representatives from the state as well as Marcussen's attorneys at the law firm Ballard Spahr -- Mark Kokanovich and Sarah Noe -- will be conferring before then and will submit a joint stipulation to modify the sentence to allow Marcussen to continue to work while serving his sentence.

The matter involving Marcussen, 45, was not tied to the NBA's investigation into the Suns and majority owner Robert Sarver.

Suns employees were notified via a company-wide email in late June 2019 that Marcussen was no longer employed by the team, though no reason was stated in the email, team sources said. In the team's 2018-19 media guide, Marcussen's title was listed as Assistant Director, Suns Ticketing.