Two Pennsylvania men sold thousands of stolen US Open tickets worth more than $3.7 million over six years, federal prosecutors said.
Jeremy Michael Conway, 46, and James Bell, 69, face up to 100 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine if convicted in a scheme against the American Golf Association, acting US attorney Jennifer Arbiter Williams Wed said.
Prosecutors allege that Conway, of West Chester, and Bell, of Glen Mills, conspired with a former USGA ticket office employee, Robert Fryer, to obtain 22,504 US Open tickets between 2013 and 2019.
Fryer, 39, of Berkassi, has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud charges in the case and faces up to 20 years in prison, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported,.
Fryer admitted to operating the scheme in which thousands of US Open tickets were stolen beginning in 2013 when the event was held at Lower Merrion Golf Club in Ardmore.
The USGA had no knowledge that Fryer was providing the stolen tickets to Conaway and Bill, who resold them through their ticket brokers for huge profits. Prosecutors claimed that Conway made $1,276,134 in the scheme, while Bell made $598,234.
Prosecutors said Fryer sometimes delivered stolen tickets in person or mailed them.
Williams said the face value of tickets stolen at the US Open was more than $3.7 million, which is equal to USA lost ticket revenue over the six-year period.
“These defendants allegedly stole revenue from a US corporation and legitimate business that pays taxes, employs many, supports a non-profit organization, and brings excitement and income to our region through US Open events on courses such as Merrion Golf Club,” Williams said. in the current situation.
The USGA typically limits the number of tickets sold to any person or company at 20, but the court order was cited by Inquirer Conaway and Bell emailed Fryer asking for hundreds of tickets at a time.
USA agency officials announced in August that they had been informed of the theft months earlier by federal authorities. The charges were filed against Conway late last month, while Pell was indicted on Tuesday. A court spokesperson told the Inquirer that neither of the two men was in custody on Wednesday and was expected to turn himself in at a later date.