Former Augusta National Staffer Pleads Guilty to Historic Memorabilia Theft

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Richard Brendan Globensky, a former Augusta National Golf Club employee, has admitted to the theft and subsequent sale of historic golf memorabilia, including several Masters Green Jackets and merchandise intended for public sale, in a series of incidents dating from 2009 to 2022.

Summary: Richard Brendan Globensky, formerly employed by Augusta National Golf Club, confessed to stealing and illegally selling historic memorabilia, including Green Jackets won by Arnold Palmer and other golf legends, leading to his guilty plea in federal court.

In a recent federal court session in Chicago, 39-year-old Richard Brendan Globensky from Augusta, Georgia, entered a guilty plea to charges of transporting and transferring stolen goods across state lines. His criminal activities included the theft of highly valued items from Augusta National Golf Club, where he worked as a warehouse assistant.

During his tenure from 2009 to 2022, Globensky engaged in the theft of documents and letters penned by Bobby Jones, the club’s founder, and Masters Tournament merchandise including hats, shirts, flags, watches, chairs, among other items. These goods, which Globensky admitted to stealing, were sold to an online seller in Florida, accumulating roughly $5.3 million in profits from the merchandise and an additional nearly $300,000 from memorabilia sales.

The memorabilia included coveted Green Jackets awarded to golf icons such as Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen, and Ben Hogan. According to the plea agreement, the stolen jackets and other items were sold through a broker who then resold them at significantly higher prices.

The case took a significant turn when one of the stolen items, Arnold Palmer’s 1958 Masters Green Jacket, was purchased by a Chicago collector who later attempted to resell it. This attempt led to an FBI intervention after the collector contacted the bureau through a broker, resulting in the jacket's seizure.

Palmer’s jacket, among others, is traditionally awarded to Masters champions but remains the property of Augusta National. Champions may wear their jackets at the club during Masters events but must store them in the club’s Champions Locker Room otherwise.

In addition to the jackets, Globensky also stole and sold Masters Tournament programs from the 1930s, various historic tickets, and an unissued share of Augusta National stock signed by Fielding Wallace.

As part of his plea agreement, Globensky is cooperating with ongoing investigations and has been ordered to repay $1.5 million, representing the value of the stolen items. His sentencing is set for October 29, marking a significant close to a long-running series of thefts at one of golf's most storied venues.