Archive for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kansas Athletics Inc. has recovered almost $500K from tickets scandal

December 13, 2011


Kansas Athletics Inc. has collected nearly $500,000 toward defraying at least $2 million in losses from a scheme in which employees stole football and basketball tickets for redistribution through brokers and others.

As of this week, the department thus far had recovered a total of $496,952 lost in the scheme. An internal investigation conducted for Kansas University determined that thefts involved more than 17,000 tickets for regular-season basketball games and at least 2,000 tickets for football games.

The recovered revenue comes from two sources: $250,000 from a settlement on an insurance policy Kansas Athletics carried to protect against employee theft and $246,952 from defendants convicted in federal court as participants in the scheme.

Here are defendants ordered to pay restitution, identified along with their locations in federal custody and expected release dates:

• Ben Kirtland, former associate athletic director for development, is west of Boston and scheduled for release in August 2015.

• Charlette Blubaugh, former associate athletic director for ticket operations, is in Fort Worth, Texas, scheduled for release in July 2015.

• Thomas Blubaugh, Charlette Blubaugh’s husband and a former consultant to the ticket office, is west of Oklahoma City, scheduled for release in October 2014.

• Rodney Jones, former assistant athletic director for the Williams Fund, also is west of Oklahoma City, scheduled for release in September 2014.

• Kassie Liebsch, a former systems analyst who assumed ticket operations following Charlette Blubaugh’s resignation, is in Illinois, east of St. Louis, scheduled for release in January 2014.

Two other former employees have paid money back to the department through garnishments of wages. Those employees, Jason Jeffries and Brandon Simmons, were convicted of failing to notify authorities about the scheme.

Kansas Athletics has recovered nearly $157,000 during the past seven months. Back in May, the department reported having received nearly $340,000: $250,000 from the insurance settlement plus $64,500 from Kirtland and nearly $25,500 total from Jeffries and Simmons.


lionsrock 6 years, 4 months ago

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Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years, 4 months ago

Something tells me that 2 million is not a true statement, it is probably a lot higher than that and in that case 500k is a drop in the bucket

ParisHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

20,000 tickets (rounding up), 2 million, that's $100 per ticket. That has to be in the ballpark. Do you think they can't count tickets, or do you think a ticket is worth a lot more than $100?

Wayne Propst 6 years, 4 months ago

Lew Perkins hired Ron Owen to investigate.....$100,000 per year....."nothing to see here folks....move along......."

CreatureComforts 6 years, 4 months ago

Sorry I read that quickly as "Ron Swanson to investigate"...I got really excited.

Connie Bailey 6 years, 4 months ago

I would like to Praise the Lord for these people being caught and brought to Justice. I'm not a KU Fan (especially in Football) but I do not like to see them lose money from their Tickets. These Atheletes work hard every year to play and they deserve their Funds for Equipment that is needed every year.

Bob Forer 6 years, 4 months ago

Restitution from convicted criminals is rarely forthcoming, especially in such large amounts. With about 1/4 of the loss recovered, and more to come, I would say that KUAD had done rather well so far.

The major stumbling block to restitution recovery from convicted criminals is the U.S. Supreme Court case of Bearden vs. Georgia, which states that it is unconstitutional to imprison a person convicted of a crime because he does not have the financial means of paying in full fines and/or restitution ordered. As long as an individual is making a good faith effort to pay during the period of his probation or parole, that probation or parole cannot be revoked.

Enoughsaid 6 years, 4 months ago

As a taxpayer and someone who frequents the KU Campus, I would like the Athletic Department to pay its fair share to the community. After reading the article in the newspaper this summer about the KU Athletic being investigated for using dealer tags on their vehicles and being told to stop this practice.

According to the article property taxes are required to be paid on these luxury vehicles and some dealers belonging to the KU Athletic Wheel Club have been avoiding paying taxes by issuing dealer tags. I was suprised last week to see two vehicles parked outside of the Anderson Sports Complex with Kansas dealer tags. With that being said it is always common to see a couple of vehicles with Missouri dealer tags.

If the Athletic Department can hire a new coach and pay him more then the fired coach, I'm sure there is some money left over to make sure the car dealers/Athletic Department pay their vehicle property taxes.

There is no doubt the KU Athletic Department has the attitude that they will do whatever they want and our untouchable by our government standards. Heck their team trailer has been running with out of state trailer tags for years and was a sound off question that the Asst. AD stated he would resolve this issue. Look for yourself the large trailer is backed up in the loading area of Anderson Sport Complex.

Joe Blackford II 6 years, 4 months ago

I misunderstood your statement . . . . Look for your Self's dealer tag?

Steve Hilker 6 years, 4 months ago

If the large trailer is a commercial trailer, pulled by a semi, an out of state tag is not uncommon. I'm in the trucking business. It could be owned by a leasing company, or an out of state entity. You don't have to be an in-state company to be a supporter of KU. Not a big deal. Somebody is getting the tax money off that trailer. Trust me.

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