Four Family Members Sentenced in Masters Ticket Scam
Four family members who put together a scheme to fraudulently get tickets to the Masters Tournament have been sentenced by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Stephen Freeman, 42, of Georgia, led the scheme and was sentenced to 28 month in prison, followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty.
Other members of the family that were sentenced include Freeman’s parents, Steven Freemand, 67, and Diane Freeman, 66, as well as, his sister, Christine Oliverson, 37.
They were each sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty.
“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. 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,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.
As part of their plea agreements, Stephen Michael Freeman paid community restitution of $157,493.70, while Steven Lee Freeman and Diane Freeman agreed to pay community restitution of $59,000 each.
Judge Randal Hall directed that $50,000 of the funds from the restitution be directed to First Tee of Augusta, with the remainder to the Community Foundation of the CSRA.
According to court documents and testimony, Stephen Freeman created the scheme in which he purchased a bulk mailing list and used those individuals’ identities without their knowledge to create multiple fraudulent accounts that he then entered in the Augusta National Golf Club’s online ticket application system as far back as 2013.
Freeman then recruited his parents and sister into assisting with the scheme.
An Augusta National employee detected the scam by noticing similarities in some of the applications for address changes.