TICKET scammers who cheated concert goers out of millions of pounds could lose their homes, a senior North Yorkshire councillor has said, as the “Ticket Queen” was jailed for four years.

Maria Chenery-Woods and her accomplices were brought to justice by specialist trading standards teams based in York and North Yorkshire.

The self-styled Ticket Queen was the driving force behind Norfolk-based TQ Tickets Ltd, which used dozens of identities to buy and resell hundreds of tickets at hugely inflated prices on secondary ticket websites for events and concerts such as Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Gary Barlow, Liam Gallagher, Strictly Come Dancing, Paul Weller and Little Mix.

Chenery-Woods and her employee and former brother-in-law Paul Douglas were jailed, and two more of her relatives received suspended prison sentences. Trading standards officers will now seek to reclaim the money they gained through asset confiscation hearings.

Cllr Greg White, North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “These sentences show tickets scammers should expect to go to prison and forfeit their ill-gotten gains.

"They may even lose their homes in order to pay back what they stole.

"This is another excellent result for the National Trading Standards Regional Investigations Team, based in York, aided by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, based in North Yorkshire.”

Cllr Jenny Kent, executive member for trading standards at City of York Council, said: “These sentences send a clear message to ticket touts and anyone involved in secondary ticketing that exploitation of fans will not be tolerated, and are a direct result of the hard work our trading standards teams put in to uphold consumer rights.

"Our investigators continue to expose all kinds of ecrime and fraud alongside our calls for improved market regulation.”

As well as using fake identities to obtain multiple tickets from reputable sellers, the defendants were also involved in ‘spec selling’ - where non-existent tickets are sold to consumers at inflated prices.

When they couldn’t fulfil the purchases, the defendants tried to cover it up by providing fake postal trackers and sending empty or torn envelopes to make it appear as if the tickets had been sent and lost in the post.

Chenery-Woods, 54, of Dickleburgh, Norfolk was jailed for four years and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

Douglas, 56, of Pulham Market, Norfolk was jailed for two years and five months and disqualified from being a company director for six years. Both admitted fraudulent trading.

Her husband Mark Woods, 60, of Dickleburgh, Norfolk was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he does 250 hours’ unpaid work and observe a four-month nightly curfew from 8pm to 6am and disqualified from being a company director for 4 years.

Her sister  and former wife of Douglas, Lynda Chenery, 51, of Dickleburgh, Norfolk was given a one-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition she does 180 hours’ unpaid work and 20 days’ rehabilitative activities and disqualified from being a company director for three years. Both were convicted of fraudulent trading at a trial.