PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former United States Golf Association employee from Bucks County has been charged in an embezzlement scheme selling unauthorized tickets to the U.S. Open, the Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said on Tuesday.
Thirty-nine-year-old Robert Fryer, of Perkasie, is facing conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud charges.READ MORE: 'Most Egregious Story I've Ever Heard': Local Man Has Prostate Removed After Mistaken Cancer Diagnosis
Fryer allegedly used his position in the USGA’s admissions office beginning before the 2013 U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore through the 2019 U.S. Open held in Pebble Beach, California, to steal 23,000 tickets and illegally resell them to third-party brokers for more than $1 million, according to Williams. Fryer allegedly received the payments either by cash or via PayPal.
Authorities said the face value of the tickets was over $3 million.READ MORE: One Of Last Marines To Leave Afghanistan Returns Home To Hero's Welcome In Ridley Township
According to a statement released by Williams, the third-party brokers bought the tickets from Fryer in bulk. They then resold the tickets to their customers, Williams said.
The USGA, according to Williams, has a 20-ticket cap on tickets sold to any one person, but Fryer sold thousands of tickets to each U.S. Open to the third-party brokers. Fryer allegedly delivered the tickets in person or sent them via FedEx or UPS.
“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,” Williams said. “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.”MORE NEWS: WATCH: Surveillance Video Catches Olney Drive-By Shooting That Killed 1, Injured 5
Fryer is facing a maximum sentence of 300 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $3.75 million fine and a $1,500 special assessment. Williams said Fryer is also required to pay back the USGA and forfeit any money he received from the scheme.