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Archive for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Final ticket scandal co-conspirator Ben Kirtland awaits designation at Massachusetts federal prison

June 28, 2011

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The last co-conspirator in an operation that stole and sold thousands of tickets for Kansas University basketball and football games is behind bars, awaiting designation in a federal medical complex in Massachusetts.

Ben Kirtland, former associate athletics director for development at Kansas Athletics Inc., arrived last week at Federal Medical Center Devens, 39 miles west of Boston. He is serving a 57-month term for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, tax obstruction and transportation of stolen property across state lines.

Kirtland is scheduled to be released Aug. 8, 2015.

“That’s no guarantee,” said Bob Lanza, a prison spokesman. “That’s as long as he behaves.”

For now, Kirtland is incarcerated inside the prison’s Special Housing Unit, reserved for inmates awaiting designation. He must clear medical tests and other screenings before joining many of the other 1,000 minimum- to maximum-security inmates held on the decommissioned army base.

While more than half of inmates are assigned to Devens for medical reasons, Lanza said, a medical or mental health condition is not a requirement.

“He’s in a cell, either by himself or with another inmate,” Lanza said. “He’s in there 23 hours a day. He gets one hour a day of recreation, and he is escorted to that. His meals are served to him three times a day.”

The routine likely will continue for another couple weeks, until testing and screenings — such as those for tuberculosis — are complete. Kirtland cannot qualify to have visitors until he has been cleared for general population.

Kirtland is the fifth of five co-conspirators in the tickets scheme, which rocked Kansas Athletics Inc. and preceded the early retirement of Lew Perkins as athletics director.

An internal investigation conducted for the department and KU found that from 2005 through 2009, more than 19,000 tickets for men’s basketball and at least 2,000 tickets for football had been taken by insiders, then distributed or sold through brokers and otherwise for personal gain.

The KU investigation estimated the university’s losses at $1 million to $3 million, with its lead investigator speculating that the total likely was much higher. Prosecutors pegged the loss at $2 million.

Others sent to prison:

• Charlette Blubaugh, former associate athletics director for ticket operations, is being held at the Federal Medical Center Carswell, which provides specialized medical and mental health services to female offenders in Fort Worth, Texas. She is serving a 57-month sentence, and authorities have not yet calculated her expected release date.

• Rodney Jones, former assistant athletics director for the Williams Fund, is in a federal prison camp at El Reno, Okla., 30 miles west of Oklahoma City. He is scheduled to complete his 46-month sentence Sept. 2, 2014.

• Thomas Blubaugh, a former tickets consultant for Kansas Athletics, also is at the El Reno prison camp, serving a 46-month sentence. His expected release date has not yet been determined.

• Kassie Liebsch, a former systems analyst who assumed ticket operations following Charlette Blubaugh’s resignation, is at Federal Correctional Institution Greenville, 43 miles east of St. Louis, serving a 37-month sentence. Her expected release date is Jan. 7, 2014.

Two other former department employees — Jason Jeffries and Brandon Simmons — are on federal probation after pleading guilty to failing to notify authorities about the tickets scam.

Interactive Timeline

KU ticket scandal timeline

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Comments

nonracist 2 years, 9 months ago

And why isn't Lew there with them? As least as guilty as them, or probably more so for what happened.

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billybob1 2 years, 9 months ago

Strange. Devens mainly houses child molesters.

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smitty 2 years, 9 months ago

Name Register # Age-Race-Sex Release Date Location 1. CARRIE MARIE NEIGHBORS 11519-031 49-White-F 10-02-2017 NOT IN BOP CUSTODY(so where is she?)

Name Register # Age-Race-Sex Release Date Location 1. GUY M NEIGHBORS 11520-031 52-Black-M 04-06-2011 RELEASED(not free but held for an appellate contested mental health issue to be reviewed soon)

CN's appeal is filed and the date of review is set but the JW fails again to report it after years of exploiting the YH. Too close to the LPD's retirement of Olin and the weak efforts at transparency by Khatib. Khatib was the main detective on the YH case at the on set in 05. Khatib was partnered with McAtee and Peck when Peck claimed he was framed(all in the JW archives). Khatib was approved by the city commissioners on the extremely vital issue of media interview ability.

go figure!

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sr80 2 years, 9 months ago

The length of their sentences is a joke,for the average joe & jane it would of been much longer !!

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angel4dennis 2 years, 9 months ago

I agree. They did the crime in Kansas, so they need to serve prison terms in Kansas! This is unacceptable behavior.

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ashmole 2 years, 9 months ago

That facility at the former Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass was also the temporary home of David Wittig. Federal Medical Center Devens - home of the pride of Kansas.

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missmagoo 2 years, 9 months ago

he's blowing smoke out of his @$$ in that picture...

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Kontum1972 2 years, 9 months ago

after their terms they will all run for political jobs or guest DJ on kjhk

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swampyankee 2 years, 9 months ago

Is there not a hundred mile prison ? Why are they serving time far away from here/ Keep it local.

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Alceste 2 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps there IS a Bubba or a Bubbaette for these Sterling members of the community.

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