by Alex Lloyd Gross
If you used Sherry’s Tickets or Eagle Eye Ticketing Management to purchase tickets to see the US Open from 2013 through 2019 chances are very good that you used stolen tickets. You are not in any trouble, but the two owners of the ticket brokers are. A former employee, was arrested for stealing tickets from the US Open and selling them. federal authorities allege that Jeremi Michael Conaway, 46, of West Chester, PA, and James Bell, 69, of Glen Mills, PA, conspired with Robert Fryer, of Perkasie, , Bucks County to secure millions of dollars in tickets .
Fryer would get tickets and provide them to the two ticket agents, who then sold them for cash. A limit of 20 tickets were made available to ticket brokers but Fryer was able to get around that by getting the tickets illegally through Fryer, who worked at the US Open.
The Information filed against Conaway alleges that Conaway, who initially worked for another ticket broker, began purchasing from Fryer stolen U.S. Open tickets in 2013, when the U.S. Open was held at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Information alleges that in connection with the 2013 through 2015 U.S. Open tournaments, Conaway sold, through his then-employer, a total of 4,918 stolen U.S. Open tickets that he had obtained from Fryer, with a face value of $774,230. The Information further alleges that starting in 2015, Conaway began selling the stolen tickets through a new ticket broker company he owned and operated, Eagle Eye Ticketing Management, LLC (“Eagle Eye”). In connection with the 2015 through 2019 U.S. Open tournaments, Conaway purchased from Fryer and sold through Eagle Eye 10,586 stolen U.S. Open tournament tickets for $1,789,853, for which defendant Conaway paid Fryer $513,719, thus earning a profit of $1,276,134, which the Information seeks to have forfeited. The Information alleges that all told, whether through his employer or through his own company, Conaway obtained stolen U.S. Open tickets from Fryer that had a face value of $2,428,465, which should have been paid to the USGA for the tickets, thus causing to USGA to lose that amount of ticket revenue.
The Information filed against Bell alleges that Bell, who operated Sherry’s Theater Ticket Agency, Inc. (“Sherry’s”), began purchasing stolen U.S. Open tickets from Fryer in 2017, in advance of the U.S. Open that was held at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin, and continued purchasing stolen tickets through the 2019 U.S. Open. The Information alleges that Bell paid Fryer $324,652 for at least 7,000 stolen U.S. Open tournament tickets, which Bell sold for $922,886, thus yielding a profit of $598,234, which the Information seeks to have forfeited. The Information alleges that all told, Bell obtained stolen U.S. Open tickets from Fryer that had a face value of $1,282,000, which should have been paid to the USGA for the tickets, thus causing to USGA to lose that amount of ticket revenue.
Both Belland Conaway face charges of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud. Fryer, who plead guilty earlier, provided information on his customers and an investigation the authorities to Conaway and Bell.