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Family charged with scheme to get Masters tickets for resale.

Byline: Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Four members of a Texas family have been charged with federal crimes in what prosecutors say was a scheme that used stolen identities to get tickets to the Masters golf tournament, then resell those tickets at a healthy profit.

Court records say that from 2013 through 2017 the family used the 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.

Stephen Michael Freeman of Katy, Texas, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as aggravated identity theft. Freeman's parents -- Steven Lee Freeman and Diane Freeman of Helotes, Texas -- and a sister, Christine Oliverson of San Antonio, were also charged with conspiracy.

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 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 utility bills and false credit card statements to ensure any tickets won would be mailed to addresses where Freeman and his relatives could receive them and then resell for substantial profit, prosecutors said.

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Title Annotation:Sports_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Apr 23, 2019
Words:234
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