Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Charlette and Tom Blubaugh expected to plead guilty in KU ticket scandal case



Jeff Tuttle/AP Photo

Former University of Kansas athletic department consultant, Thomas Ray Blubaugh, and his wife Charlette Blubaugh, left and center, leave the U.S. Federal Courthouse, in Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, after being arraigned on a charge of conspiring to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors say the couple, along with others, are charged with stealing athletic tickets and scalping them for cash to ticket brokers and third parties outside the university totally $5 million.

Another former ticket manager for Kansas Athletics Inc. and her husband are set to plead guilty to a scheme that converted stolen basketball and football tickets into tax-free cash through sales by ticket brokers.

If Charlette and Tom Blubaugh admit their guilt next week as scheduled, only one defendant would remain in the case that has sent seven former department employees to face charges in federal court: Ben Kirtland, former associate athletics director for development, whose trial for conspiracy is scheduled to begin Feb. 15.

Charlette Blubaugh and her husband would join four other defendants who already have agreed to testify, if necessary.

“She’s just looking forward to getting this over with,” said John Rapp, one of Charlette Blubaugh’s attorneys.

The Blubaughs — Charlette, who had been an assistant athletics director, and Tom, who had been a paid consultant — are scheduled to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Charlette Blubaugh’s hearing is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 27 before Judge Wesley Brown in U.S. District Court in Wichita, while Tom Blubaugh is scheduled to appear a day later.

Rapp said his client’s hearing would be similar to those conducted last week involving two other co-conspirators: Kassie Liebsch, who succeeded Charlette Blubaugh as ticket manager after several years as a systems analyst; and Rodney Jones, who had been an assistant athletics director in charge of the Williams Fund.

Liebsch and Jones admitted to taking part in a conspiracy to divert tickets from Kansas Athletics, then provide the tickets to brokers in exchange for cash while avoiding payment of taxes on the illegal proceeds.

As part of their plea agreements, Liebsch and Jones joined two other former coworkers — Jason Jeffries and Brandon Simmons, who earlier pleaded guilty to failing to disclose the scam — in agreeing to cooperate with authorities and testify against others.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 4 months ago

must of been a humid day. charlette's curls have fallen flat!

jayhawk96 9 years, 4 months ago

Didn't realize Susan Boyle had a twin.

63Jayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

With everyone pleading guilty and offering to cooperate and testify against others, makes one wonder who the "others" are.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 4 months ago

yep, with you on this one. except i thought everyone was bailing to rat on these two and big ben. can't be just ben, can it? possible "others"

sweet lue pump brothers major ticket broker firm turner gill (wishful thinking)

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

I get the feeling Sweet Lew was probably the first canary to sing. And because of this, and because he's a hell of a lot more savvy than this group of jokers, he got off with a clean break. Half a dozen of the biggest names in a scandal this size will buy a whole lot of getaway car. Especially if you are the first one to squeal, therefore cracking the case wide open and making it easy for the investigators.

Also, I forgot who you wanted to coach KU before Gill's hire.

notigers4me 9 years, 4 months ago

I said this earlier this deal is just getting started and it won't be done until our former AD is arrested. No one is willing to take the fall alone and so they will just keep on singing until the fat lady is done singing.

JayViking 9 years, 4 months ago

Your photo caption ought to say "totaling" rather than "totally."

Kevin Kelly 9 years, 4 months ago

Well obviously we have a ticket scalper in the neighborhood. Hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband's too because they inditing everyone out here.

You don't have to come and confess, we looking for YOU. We are going to find you. So you can run and tell that homeboy. You are so dumb. We have your exercise equipment, we have your are so dumb.

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