2 in KU tickets scheme sent to prison camps

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two conspirators convicted in the theft and sales of Kansas University football and basketball tickets are now in prison, according to federal officials:

Rodney Jones, former assistant athletic director for the Williams Fund, is at a satellite prison camp adjacent to the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla., about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City. Jones is serving a 46-month sentence, and his projected release date has not been disclosed.

Kassie Liebsch, a former systems analyst who resigned as director of ticket operations last year, is at a satellite prison camp for minimum-security female prisoners adjacent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Ill., about 43 miles east of St. Louis. Liebsch, serving a 37-month sentence, is expected to be released Jan. 7, 2014.

Awaiting detainment destinations are Charlette Blubaugh, former associate athletic director for ticket operations, who has been sentenced to 57 months in prison; and Thomas Blubaugh, Charlette’s husband and a former paid consultant to Kansas Athletics Inc., sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Sentencing for Ben Kirtland, former associate athletic director for development, is May 12 in Wichita.

All five pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in which participants stole thousands of tickets to regular-season games and sold or distributed them through brokers and others. Authorities say the scam ran from 2005 to 2010 and cost the department at least $2 million.

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