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Man pleads guilty in golf cart scam

Wire • Dec 2, 2011 at 9:00 PM

An Ohio man involved in a scheme with golf course beverage carts and phony advertising revenues pleaded guilty to one felony count in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

Philip A. Cargnino, 48, of Sylvania, pleaded guilty this week in front of Judge Jack Zouhary to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Additional counts of mail and wire fraud will be dismissed at his March sentencing.

The conviction stems from a 2005 investigation into activities of Royal Links USA Inc., of Springfield Township, a firm that collapsed in 2004 and allegedly bilked 1,300 small golf courses out of $4,000 to $5,000 each.

Cargnino was part owner of Royal Links, which began operating in 2002 and marketed nonmotorized golf carts to golf courses to serve as portable concession stands.

Under the scheme, golf courses would buy or lease the carts, and all leasing payment for the carts was to be reimbursed by Royal Links through ad revenues from national sponsors that did not exist.

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(c)2011 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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