The federal government is moving forward with plans to collect up to $2 million from three defendants convicted in a scam to steal, sell and profit from diverted tickets to Kansas University football and basketball games.
Prosecutors want the three defendants — Charlette Blubaugh, former head of the KU ticket office; her husband, Tom Blubaugh, a former consultant to Kansas Athletics Inc.; and Rodney Jones, former assistant athletic director for the Williams Fund — ordered to forfeit money generated illegally in the scam, which prosecutors say ran from 2005 to 2010.
Prosecutors filed motions this week in U.S. District Court in Wichita, where the three co-defendants already have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and await sentencing.
While the co-defendants have agreed not to oppose forfeiture proceedings, only a judge can order the defendants to pay, said Jim Cross, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Also convicted is Kassie Liebsch, a former systems analyst who took part in the scam. She already has forfeited a 2008 Toyota Camry purchased with illegal profits.
A fifth defendant — Ben Kirtland, former associate athletic director for development — is scheduled to plead guilty to conspiracy Feb. 24.
Kansas Athletics officials say they will wait until judicial proceedings are complete before deciding whether or how to pursue reimbursement through the courts. The department already has filed an insurance claim for $250,000 on a policy that covers the department against employee theft.