A golf executive stole thousands of tickets to U.S. Opens and then sold them to third-party sites to pocketing more than $1 million, federal prosecutors said.
Robert Fryer, 39, now faces 300 years in prison if convicted.
On Aug. 17, federal officials in Pennsylvania announced they charged Fryer with ten counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud.
Fryer worked with the United States Golf Association in the admission office. Starting with the 2013 U.S. Open and continuing through the U.S. Open in 2019, Fryer stole more than 23,000 tickets, according to prosecutors.
The U.S. Open is one of the four “major” golf events in a given year and often features the top players in the world.
The tickets were stolen without the knowledge of the U.S. Golf Association, prosecutors alleged.
Fryer then allegedly sold the tickets to brokers in exchange for more than $1 million. Prosecutors say the tickets had a face value of more than $3 million.
The association had a strict limit of 20 tickets sold to a person, but the ticket brokers acquired thousands thanks to Fryer’s activities, prosecutors said. The brokers would then sell the tickets to customers.
Fryer sent some of the tickets to the brokers through the mail, according to prosecutors.
In addition to centuries in prison, Fryer also faces nearly $4 million in fines.
“The defendant allegedly stole revenue from a legitimate business that pays taxes, employs many, supports a non-profit organization, and brings excitement and income to our district with U.S. Open events at courses like the Merion Golf Club,” said Acting U. S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “Criminals that conduct ticket schemes like this prey on the excitement surrounding big events; fans should remember that any item with a low price that seems ‘too good to be true’ should be cause for caution and concern.”