Judge restrains former KU associate athletic director Ben Kirtland and ex-wife from transferring property

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Property involved in the divorce case of a former Kansas University athletic administrator — a former associate athletic director awaiting sentencing for his role in a ticket-stealing scheme — cannot be sold, transferred or otherwise assigned, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown issued a retraining order Wednesday, preventing both Ben Kirtland and Mary Jean Kirtland from “pursuing further action to transfer the real and personal property” included in their divorce case’s property settlement agreement, which was filed last month in Johnson County District Court.

Brown issued the order on the eve of Ben Kirtland’s sentencing in Wichita, set for 10 a.m. Thursday, on Kirtland’s conviction for conspiracy to commit wire fraud through a five-year scheme to steal KU basketball and football tickets for the personal gain of himself and others.

Ben Kirtland has indicated support for a sentence recommended by a presentence report: 57 months in federal prison, and a requirement to pay at least $1.2 million in restitution.

Johnson County District Judge David Hauber granted the divorce April 15. Mary Jean Kirtland had filed her petition for divorce Jan. 25 — a little more than two months after her husband had been indicted by a federal grand jury, and about a month before he would plead guilty in Judge Brown’s courtroom in Wichita.