Former USGA Employee Allegedly Made over $1 Million Selling Stolen US Open Tickets

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 18, 2021

ARDMORE, PA - JUNE 16:  Justin Rose of England putts on the ninth green as caddie Mark Fulcher holds the wicker basket flagstick during the final round of the 113th U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club on June 16, 2013 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Robert Fryer, a former assistant director for the U.S. Golf Association's ticketing office, has been charged with conspiracy and wire and mail fraud for stealing men's U.S. Open tickets and selling them to resale companies, per Jeremy Roebuck of the Philadelphia Inquirer

He's facing a maximum possible sentence of 300 years in prison. 

Per that report, Fryer has been accused of "conspiring with two eastern Pennsylvania ticket resale companies to provide 23,000 pilfered passes to U.S. Men’s Open tournaments between 2013 and 2019—with a face value of more than $3.4 million."

Fryer was reportedly paid $1.15 million for the tickets, with the resale companies raking in a profit of $1.7 million in the scheme. Federal prosecutors have not publicly named the resale companies involved in the alleged fraud. 

"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," Acting U.S. Attorney Williams said in a statement. "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."

Fryer reportedly began stealing and selling tickets at the 2013 men's U.S. Open, continuing the scheme through the 2019 event. 

"The USGA was both appreciative and fully supportive of the efforts of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office [for] the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in this investigation," spokesperson Beth Major said in a statement.