New Jersey company charged with stealing $126K from group planning trip to The Masters

·2 min read

FREEHOLD, New Jersey — Two men who owned a Jersey Shore-based tour company have been charged with stealing more than $126,000 from a group of people who booked a trip to the 2019 Masters golf tournament, authorities said.

John Donadio, 56, of Belmar, and Michael Moyer, 56, of New Orleans, were both charged by direct indictment with second-degree theft, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

The charges stem from an investigation by both the prosecutor’s office and the Belmar Police Department, which they learned Eclipse Global Events had broken a contract with a group of eight people and refused to issue a refund after claiming their payment was late, Linskey said.

The group of eight had arranged for an all-inclusive trip to the annual golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, which was supposed to include lodging, tickets (both practice and tournament rounds), hospitality events, and local transportation.

Tiger Woods captured the title. He was playing in his 75th major as a professional, but although he had won 14 majors in his first 46 attempts as a pro, hadn’t won a major in 28 starts.

Eclipse Global Events charged the group more than $126,000 for the package, but even after the amount was allegedly paid in full and immediately prior to the event, the victims were advised their payment was late and they would not be receiving the trip — nor a refund, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Authorities allege the company had pocketed the money for themselves.

Donadio surrendered himself on Oct. 1, while Moyer turned himself in Wednesday after a Monmouth County Grand Jury returned the indictment in late September.

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The case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos, while Donadio will be represented by Thomas Huth, of Red Bank. There was no attorney information immediately available for Moyer.

If convicted, both defendants could face anywhere from five to 10 years in prison.

Anyone with additional information surrounding the case is asked to contact Detective Michael Acquaviva of the prosecutor’s office at 1-800-533-7443.

Joshua Chung is the 9-5 breaking news and weather reporter. A lifelong Jersey Shore resident, he is a recent graduate of Michigan State University. Contact him at jchung@gannettnj.com, 917-703-9373 or on Twitter @Joshchunggg