According to Mike Tolson of the Houston Chronicle, an area con artist used bogus on-course "handshake" deals to scam millions out of his country club cronies.
The swindler, 67-year-old Billy Frank Davis, ran a ponzi scheme out of some of the cities' swankiest courses. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to scamming $7.8 million out of 23 victims. Now, he faces a 20-year sentence.
And, as Tolson reports, the trust Davis took advantage of was built on the links:
Many of those victimized most recently were golf buddies at Champions Golf Club home to Houston's largest collection of good players. Davis was a highly regarded member, so much so that he was given legendary co-founder Jimmy Demaret's old locker. He used to play with a regular group of some of the best -- scratch players who took pride in their ability, their club and their determination to play the game the right way, with no sneakiness, cheating, hustles or funny business.At least no one accused him of shaving strokes. Davis, of course, is not the first con man to take advantage of country club connections. Bernie Madoff also famously used his many memberships to fund his massive ponzi scheme.