The lawsuit says Mullins 'offered no explanation for the invalid badges except to represent that security was more intense that year.'
On April 5, 2018, four people showed up to The Masters golf tournament with badges that they had paid for. But the would-be attendees were stopped at the gate to Augusta National; their badges had been flagged as invalid, and they were escorted out by security, feeling humiliated.
They weren’t alone. In a two-hour period, 19 others had the same experience. The 23 total flagged badges had one thing in common: all were purchased directly or indirectly from Joe Mullins, or were held by people traveling together with Mullins' invalid badges. The company that arranged the purchases, Arizona-based Golf Travel, confronted Mullins to ask what had happened to its clients’ tickets.
According to a lawsuit filed in by Golf Travel on April 9, 2021 (originally reported on by Dana Lynn McIntyre of the Augusta Press), Mullins “offered no explanation for the invalid badges except to represent that security was more intense that year and that the … customers must have gotten unlucky with random secondary inspections.”
Mullins, now a county commissioner in Flagler County, is being sued for about $2.4 million in a federal court in Georgia (along with his company, Mullins Sports and Entertainment) for fraudulently promising access to The Masters for dozens of people in not only 2018 but also in 2019.
Golf Travel said its reputation was damaged by Mullins’ actions, and that he knew the tickets were fraudulent. The company accuses Mullins of continually lying about the tickets and dodging its demands for explanations.
Mullins told the Augusta Press on April 19, 2021, that he had “honored all agreements" relative to The Masters tickets. When the Observer asked Mullins to clarify, then, why so many were turned away, he responded via email on April 20: “It's a frivolous lawsuit and my attorneys are handling.”
Golf Travel's $2.4 million claim is the sum of $114,000 for undelivered tickets and badges; about $815,000 in lost profits; and $1.5 million in damages and attorney’s fees.
See the Augusta Press story here: https://www.theaugustapress.com/joe-mullins-federal-lawsuit/