55.5 F
Fort Worth
Friday, November 27, 2020
Government 4 family members from Texas plead guilty in Masters golf ticket scheme

4 family members from Texas plead guilty in Masters golf ticket scheme

Other News

Tarrant County DA’s office changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuna cases

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Tarrant County  Criminal District Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov....

Arlington selects new police chief from Baltimore department

Col. Al Jones, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, has been appointed the new police chief of the the City of...

Family of Black woman shot through window sues Texas officer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Family members of a Black woman who was killed when a white police officer fired through a window of...

Law firm offers free estate plans for health care workers during pandemic

Fort Worth attorney Erik Martin says he felt compelled to find a way for his law firm to join the effort to support frontline...

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Four members of a Texas family pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges in what prosecutors called a scheme that used stolen identities to obtain tickets to the Masters golf tournament, which were then resold at a profit.

Stephen Michael Freeman of Katy, Texas, appeared before a U.S. District Court judge in the tournament’s hometown of Augusta, Georgia, to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Prosecutors said Freeman had agreed to serve three years in federal prison as part of a plea deal.

Freeman’s parents and a sister also pleaded guilty to the same crime. Their plea agreements called for no prison time, though the four family members agreed to pay more than $275,000 in total restitution, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine’s office.

All four defendants still face sentencing before a federal judge, who can accept or reject terms of their plea deals.

Court documents in the case don’t say how many Masters tickets the four defendants were suspected of obtaining, or how much money they made from any resales. Court records say that from 2013 through 2017, the family used stolen identities in an effort to cheat the lottery system that distributes tournament tickets and to circumvent Augusta National Golf Club’s rules allowing people to apply only once to enter its ticket lottery.

“These profiteering con artists thought they had succeeded in hijacking the Augusta National’s generous ticket lottery system to satisfy their own greed,” Christine, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, said in a statement.

David Mitchell Stewart, listed in court records as an attorney for Stephen Michael Freeman and the other charged family members, did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment Monday. No one answered Stewart’s phone.

The family purchased bulk mailing lists to obtain names and addresses of people that were used to create fake accounts for Augusta National’s online ticket lottery, according to the court documents filed in April by federal prosecutors. Those accounts were submitted with email addresses controlled by Freeman and his relatives.

The family would then ask Augusta National to change the addresses associated with the bogus accounts, using “false driver licenses, false utility bills and false credit card statements in the identity of the fake user accounts” sent by mail, the court documents said. That would ensure any tickets won through the lottery would be mailed to addresses where Freeman and his relatives would receive them, prosecutors said.


close






Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Cowboys miss chance for NFC East lead with another home loss

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Both starting offensive tackles were lost to injury on their first drive of the game, Ezekiel Elliott lost another fumble...

JRB Fort Worth chosen for main operating base for C-130J aircraft

Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth has been selected as a main operating base for eight C-130J aircraft at the 136th Airlift...

Cowboys special teams player Gifford suspended 2 games

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys backup linebacker and special teams player Luke Gifford has been suspended two games without pay for violating the...

Cowboys cancel practice over medical issue involving staff

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys canceled practice Tuesday after what the club said was a non-coronavirus medical emergency involving their head strength...

Tarrant County DA’s office changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuna cases

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Tarrant County  Criminal District Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov....