Former U.S. Golf Association employee accused of stealing, reselling U.S. Open tickets in million dollar scheme
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania - A former U.S. Golf Association employee has been charged with embezzling over $3 million in U.S. Open tickets over a time span of seven years.
According to the Department of Justice, 39-year-old Robert Fryer was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, and ten counts of wire fraud as a result of a scheme to steal and then sell United States Open Championship tickets, which is one of four major championships for golf.
Authorities say Fryer's theft began just prior to the 2013 U.S. Open in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and continued through the 2019 U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, California.
According to the Department of Justice, Fryer used his position in the USGA Admissions Office to illegally pocket more than 23,000 U.S. Open admission tickets.
The face value of the stolen tickets was reportedly more than $3 million.
Officials say Fryer then sold those stolen tickets to third-party ticket brokers. These transactions allegedly earned Fryer more than $1 million illegally. Authorities say most of this money was paid to Fryer in the form of cash and PayPal transfers.
After this, the individuals who purchased the tickets from Fryer allegedly resold them to customers.
According to the Department of Justice, "the USGA had a strict 20-ticket cap on the number of tickets that it would sell to any one person, but these ticket brokers were able to acquire thousands of tickets to each U.S. Open by buying stolen tickets from Fryer."
Fryer now faces a maximum sentence of 300 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $3,750,000 fine, as well as a $1,500 special assessment, according to the Department of Justice.
The Department says that in addition to this, Fryer will have to pay restitution to the USGA and give up the money he accumulated by fraudulent means.