Originally created 04/12/06

Man charged with theft in Masters badge resale



Holding on to 11 Masters Tournament badges for a bit too long, then selling them to someone else rendered them useless and landed a man in jail, officials said Tuesday.

Isaac Green, 53, of the 3100 block of Summer Chase Place, was charged last week with theft by deception and theft by conversion, said Richmond County sheriff's Lt. C.A. Tony Walden.

Mr. Green was released from the Richmond County jail Saturday on $11,200 bond, officials said.

Lt. Walden said Mr. Green is accused of purchasing the use of 11 Masters badges for $9,375 from a ticket broker, RazorGator, under the condition he would return the badges Thursday evening.

RazorGator, based in Los Angeles, sells tickets for sporting and entertainment events that are difficult to obtain.

Lt. Walden said Mr. Green signed a contract with RazorGator, requiring him to return the badges to the brokers Thursday.

Instead of returning the badges, Mr. Green kept then and resold them to Durance E. Smith, 44, having promised Mr. Smith that he would provide 20 badges for $50,000, Lt. Walden said.

However, Mr. Green was only able to provide 19. RazorGator canceled its 11 badges when Mr. Green did not return them, and they were confiscated by the Augusta National Golf Club when Mr. Smith tried to use them Friday, Lt. Walden said.

Mr. Green was charged with theft by conversion for not returning the badges as agreed and converting them to private use by reselling them, the lieutenant said.

He was charged with theft by deception because he is accused of promising 20 badges to Mr. Smith, but 11 of those given to him were worthless.

The scalping of tickets in Georgia is legal. However, it must be done 2,700 feet away from the venue, under a county ordinance. The state law requires a distance of 1,500 feet.

However, the Augusta National's rules prohibit sales by third parties.

"Users of tickets acquired, by whatever means, from such parties may be excluded from attendance," the club's policy states.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.