Lawsuit accuses businessman of selling bogus Masters badges for $448,250
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A federal lawsuit has been filed against a man and his company who are accused of selling invalid entry badges to the Masters Tournament.
The plaintiff, Golf Travel LLC, was organized in 2014 by the owner of a corporation known as SGH Inc.
For almost 40 years, SGH operated a profitable business organizing and selling golf tours and golf tournament packages to the public, according to the lawsuit. Golf tournament packages included, among other things, tickets or badges allowing attendance at professional golf tournaments, housing and other amenities.
In or about 2015, SGH started spinning off its “golf tournament package operation” with respect to The Masters to Golf Travel.
SGH and Golf Travel got tickets and badges from Joe Mullins and his Mullins Entertainment LLC for several years. Except for 2018 and 2019, they say Mullins did his job.
SGH entered a contract with Mullins’ company to buy 183 practice round tickets for 2018 and 95 four-day badges, according to the lawsuit. Mullins was paid $606,150, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff says it got the practice round tickets, but not “valid” four-day tournament badges. Of the $606,150 paid to Mullins, $448,250 was for the tournament badges
The plaintiff says Mullins provided badges, but on the first day of the 2018 tournament, four customers tried to use the four badges and they were stopped by Masters security guards.
“These customers were told that their badges had been ‘flagged’ as invalid badges,” the lawsuit alleges. “After the customers were removed to a security area and interrogated by Masters security, the badges were confiscated, the customers were refused entrance to Augusta national, and they were escorted off the premises by Masters security.”
Over a two-hour period that day, 23 customers of this company were stopped and denied entry because of the badges, the lawsuit alleges. Nineteen of those badges were from Mullins, according to the lawsuit.
The other four were from someone else or some other company.
But Augusta National Golf Club security staff confiscated those badges because they were being used by people accompanying the people who had invalid badges.
The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial.
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