Stephen Michael Freeman Sentenced to Prison for Masters Ticket Scheme

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

The Masters logo is seen on a flag on the course at Augusta Country club during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Monday, April 5, 2010. The tournament begins Thursday, April, 8. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Stephen Michael Freeman, a 42-year-old Georgia man, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for his role in a Masters ticket scheme.

The Associated Press and Nicholas Papadimas of Fox 28 Media reported the news, noting Freeman's parents, Steven Lee Freeman and Diane Freeman, as well as his sister, Christine Oliverson, were sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their role in the scheme.

Altogether, the family members paid approximately $275,500 in restitution as part of their plea deals.

The purpose of the scheme was to use stolen identities to obtain the highly coveted tickets in the Masters' lottery system and then resell those tickets for a profit.

Freeman, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud more than a year ago before this ruling came down, helped orchestrate the scheme that saw he and his family use the stolen identities to apply for tickets more than once and then use them to change addresses on the fake accounts to receive the tickets somewhere they had access to them.

"The FBI will go great lengths to disrupt any scheme that would circumvent a fair process by denying our citizens the right to compete for tickets to any public or private event," Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said. "This scheme was designed to profit off legitimate citizens' fair chance to obtain tickets to a prestigious golf tournament, and they must pay the price for their greed."

In June 2019, Roxanna Scott of Golfweek reported the maximum penalty for the guilty pleas of the family was 20 years in prison.

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