Former USGA employee charged with $3M US Open golf ticketing scheme

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A former employee for the United States Golf Association has been charged by federal officials, accused of stealing more than $3 million worth of U.S. Open tickets and reselling them for cash.

Robert Fryer, from Perkasie in Bucks County, worked in the USGA Admissions Office. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said he stole more than 23,000 tickets to U.S. Open tournaments between 2013, when the U.S. Open was held at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, and 2019 at Pebble Beach.

Federal officials said he then sold the tickets to a third-party broker, sometimes selling thousands at a time. In return, officials said Fryer cashed in about $1 million.

Fryer has been charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

If convicted, he could face the rest of his life in prison, and a fine of nearly $4 million.

The USGA shared this statement in full with KYW Newsradio:

Several months ago, the USGA was made aware of a federal investigation into an embezzlement scheme relating to U.S. Open tickets. The USGA was identified as the victim of this scheme, which took place from 2013 to 2019 under a legacy ticketing system and originated from the inappropriate and illegal actions of a former employee, who has been charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The USGA was both appreciative and fully supportive of the efforts of the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania in this investigation.

The USGA implemented a new ticketing platform starting in 2020 and recently engaged an external expert to review our ticketing processes and controls to help prevent this type of activity from occurring and ensure best practices and security protocols are employed for our championship ticketing.