16 May 2024

Masters Green Jacket Thief Charged

A former warehouse assistant at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia admitted to transporting millions of dollars’ worth of stolen Masters tournament memorabilia and historic items, including one of Arnold Palmer’s iconic green jackets.

Richard Globensky, of Georgia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. He faced charges of transporting goods knowing they were stolen.

“I plead guilty,” Globensky said in court.

Federal prosecutors revealed that the 39-year-old removed items from the warehouse for sellers in Florida, who then sold them online at significant markups. Globensky received payments through a limited liability company registered in his wife’s name, among other methods. This scheme spanned more than a decade and netted him over $5 million.

As part of a plea deal, Globensky must provide a $1.5 million cashier’s check to the government within days. He remains free on bond and, though facing a maximum 10-year prison term at his sentencing on October 29, is expected to serve closer to two years under federal guidelines.

The thefts, which occurred between 2009 and 2022, involved historic memorabilia such as green jackets and tickets from Masters tournaments in the 1930s, along with T-shirts, mugs, and chairs, prosecutors said. Among the stolen green jackets were those won by Palmer, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen.

Globensky, employed at the warehouse since 2007, would secretly photograph items and send the images to a Florida-based seller identified in court documents only as Individual A. He would then smuggle out items in small quantities to avoid detection by Augusta National’s auditing practices. The stolen items were hidden in an offsite storage facility before being shipped.

Prosecutors estimate Augusta National’s total loss at more than $3 million. A representative for Augusta National did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Globensky declined to comment after the hearing. His attorney, Thomas Church, noted the case was tried in Chicago because some stolen goods were recovered there. Church provided no further comments due to ongoing investigations.

While no one else has been charged, prosecutors stated that Globensky is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

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