PHILADELPHIA -- A former United States Golf Association employee has been charged in a scheme to embezzle funds from the unauthorized sale of U.S. Open Championship tickets, Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced Tuesday.
According to a statement released by Williams, Robert Fryer, 39, of Perkasie, Pennsylvania, faces conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud charges.
Fryer allegedly used his position ahead of the 2013 U.S. Open held at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, through the 2019 U.S. Open held at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California, to obtain 23,000 tickets that he sold to third-party ticket brokers for nearly $1 million. The face value of the tickets is over $3 million.
"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."
Fryer faces a maximum of 300 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $3,750,000 fine and a $1,500 special assessment.
Defense attorney Bob Goldman said Wednesday that his client is assisting the USGA and the attorney's office in unraveling what happened to prevent future incidents such as this.