Local company cheated out of Masters tickets - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Local company cheated out of Masters tickets

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

One Augusta ticket company that has had a flawless reputation for nearly15 years said it has been cheated out of dozens of Masters tickets and badges. Travel Masters said one of their brokers failed to produce the badges he promised. Now the company is out those badges, out hundreds of thousands of dollars, and out of favor with some angry golf fans.

"Everything has been great and then we get call today saying they don't have the tickets," said Lynn and Tom Byrne, Travel Masters clients.  

"They owe us and the hundreds of other people," said Dean McAthie. "But the guy who never gave them the tickets owes them."

It has been a thriving ticket business for Alfred Monsalvatge who owns Travel Masters.  He told FOX54, since 1999 he has never let any client down.

"Our reputation in the community and all over the country and some parts of the world, we have been spot on," said Monsalvatge.  

"[We came] five years ago,  it was a seamless transaction but this year we showed up and they informed us they only have three of the six tickets," said Mark Owen, Travel Masters client.

Monsalvatge said one of the contracted brokers who is also a long time family friend failed to produce the amount of badges he promised, leaving nearly 40 people each day of the Masters tournament who paid in advance, out of luck.

"We ordered the tickets in November," said Lynn Byrne.  

"The parcel of tickets that were offered may have been offered to, and this is just pure speculation, to several other firms," said Monsalvatge.   

JC Tickets is a firm that has been helping Travel Master accommodate to some clients for tickets.  A representative said the same broker failed to produce the tickets he promised. JC Tickets was only depending on a fraction of the tickets that were promised to Travel Master; however they said they still able fulfill all of their ticket orders.

"It seems like a bit of a Ponzi scheme that this guy played on Travel Master," said Owen.  

Monsalvatge said when he called the broker, the only thing he could offer were apologies.

FOX54's Elizabeth Rawlins talked to the broker who said he did not have the tickets and he was not going to comment any further.

There is real explanation for an owner who is left to deal with the fallout, breaking the news to clients and trying to compensate them what he can.

"I'm thinking it's probably costing us somewhere around $750,000," said Monsalvatge.  

He notified the police who said since the broker was contracted through the company; it then becomes a civil case. Monsalvatge plans to pursue legal action but he is also concerned about the potential lawsuits he could face himself from those who didn't receive their tickets.  

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