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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Prosecutor: No evidence Lew Perkins ‘knowingly participated’ in KU’s cash-for-tickets scheme

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Federal prosecutors say they don’t anticipate filing any more criminal charges connected with a five-year ticket-stealing scheme that cost Kansas Athletics Inc. at least $2 million.

“We’re pretty much done,” said Richard Hathaway, an assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case. “We followed all credible leads … to charge and convict everyone that is criminally liable.”

The highest-ranking former department employee with criminal responsibility for the scheme proved to be Ben Kirtland, who had been associate athletics director for development. U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown sentenced Kirtland on Thursday to 57 months in prison, and ordered him to pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution to Kansas Athletics and the IRS.

Investigators also looked into the conduct of Lew Perkins, who had been athletics director during the scheme’s documented five-year duration, and found nothing to indicate he had been involved, Hathaway said.

“We’ve never discovered any evidence that he knowingly participated,” Hathaway said.

Perkins previously has said that he found out about the scheme only when notified by federal investigators. Perkins then requested that KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little authorize an independent investigation into the scheme, an investigation that led to changes designed to prevent such illegal activities in the future.

Perkins resigned in September.

Comments

optimist 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm no Lew supporter but the point has been made that given his compensation package being what it was he had no motive to participate. No way was the benefit worth the consequences for him. The responsibility falls on him because he was in charge. When you make that kind of money the buck has to stop with you. However it isn't reasonable that someone in his position is either complicate or incompetent. This was a conspiracy designed to hide the criminal activity, especially from Perkins. Most of the participants were in positions of trust and in fact were exactly the people tasked with ensuring this type of thing didn't happen.

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 11 months ago

Admittingly...I'm not an expert at what's going on with this whole ticket scandal...so this my sound ignorant to some. But how does Roger Morningstar play into this whole scandal. Thought I read that he was somehow tied to all of this.

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Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 11 months ago

defending Lew Perkins' integrity is like defending John Calapari's.... sure, they've never been found guilty...

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Gig 2 years, 11 months ago

Carter, You say "he paid the price." Exactly what price did Lew pay?

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Carter Patterson 2 years, 11 months ago

Lew is guilty of not providing enough oversight. He paid the price. This should not deter the fact that he did great things at KU and we are in a much better place because of his leadership. Its difficult for any business to prevent fraud when multiple people are involved. The concept of checks and balances are thrown out when the culprit doing the stealing is checked over by somebody just as guilty.

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Pwnage 2 years, 11 months ago

Great day for Scam$us Univer$ity!

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jhox 2 years, 11 months ago

Perkin's blame comes from the fact that he did a poor job of oversight. There is no way he would have risked the compensation he was receiving to take part in this stupidity. Why anyone would think otherwise is beyond me.

There are still a bunch of bitter people over losing their prime seats, because the didn't dontate enough money to keep them, and those individuals are on a witch hunt. They would love nothing more than blame Perkins and find that he had a part in it.

I'm not saying what KU did was right, as far at taking away long time ticket holders prime tickets, but those people need to get over it already. Nothing is going to reverse that.

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Orangedog87 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree with mvjayhawk. All Perkins did was come to KU at the right time to sell Allen Field House seats to the highest bidder which naturally created a steady stream of money for KU. He did not create the supply/demand issues for Allen Field House tickets that created the high auction prices. He just showed up at the right time - the unpleasantness of the previous AD and BB coach leaving and showing up as the new guy (not a KU grad) with a plan to get KU back on track....so sell to the highest bidder the only remaining KU Athletic dept asset ...KU BB tickets.

Oh I guess he got some free exercise equip which based on OakvilleJHawk's post above he apparently did not use....so why penalize your ethics to take free equip from a KU vendor that you never use????

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irvan moore 2 years, 11 months ago

what about the well known boosters who were once talked about? why don't they find out who bought the tickets and make them pay the money back, they had to know there was something fishy going on.

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rockchalk80 2 years, 11 months ago

One would think the convicted would give up Perkins if he was involved... just a thought.

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Janet Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

Look, Lew didn't know....nope, he was too busy "buying" exercise equipment for his basement, riding around in limos, and jet setting on luxury private jets. Besides, why would he have needed the money? He was an athletic god, making mega bucks when the ticket scam was going down. No doubt Lewe took one look a day at Kassie, Benny, Char and Tom, and Rod, and felt a warm feeling come over him, with his inner soul whispering, "I can trust these people....."

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 11 months ago

the fact that he didn't "knowingly participate"....is truly worse...because this means he was a foolish old man, that had so many people snowed at KU athletics, that he laughed all the way to the bank.

Lew was paid over $4 million one year.....$4 million!!. he didn't have to participate....he was stealing all the money in plain sight! You tell me at the current state of KU athletics, how much better off we are after his helm is done...and i submit that we're better only in one area; and that's the money generated by the new seating system at Allen Fieldhouse.

that's basically it. our sports teams are arguably worse....football got real good for a blip because of the coach.....and Bill Self won a national title. Did Lew make a plausible difference to help those things happen? I would say no. and our sports teams are about as non competitive as they've ever been top to bottom.

Nope....'ol Lew didn't have to "knowingly participate." he took his millions out the front door.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 11 months ago

1] Lew was focused on getting into shape using his exercise equipment. 2] Lew was distracted by the thought that Fidel Castro's ill health would hamper his Havana cigar supply. 3] Lew was contemplating suing Shrek for unauthorized body copying. 4] Lew realized a basic flaw in his thinking; A [expanded football stadium] + B [many more fans] = C [requires winning football] 5] Lew heard this quote in a dream..."If you build it, people won't necessarily come."

Conclusion: Lew was either in cahoots or incompetent, either condition requiring his departure.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 11 months ago

Totally agree his complacency and lack of hands on administrator will forever tarnish the good he did at KU. As they say "always follow the money" and in this case it proves 100% correct.

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Jim Williamson 2 years, 11 months ago

I think NEJhawk is being a little harsh, but he's closer to a rational, reasonable explanation than everyone who thinks Lew was hip-deep in this. He wasn't. But what he was was sloppy and complacent. I'm not sure which is worse: being a criminal or a knucklehead on whose watch a whooooole lot of sh*t went down.

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danmoore 2 years, 11 months ago

Lew had opportunity but what would his motive be? His compensation is more than what he could have stolen. Not worth the risk of jail time.

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Kevin Kelly 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh....so he's completely incompetent. MUUUUUCH beter.

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BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

Even though there is no evidence involving Lew Perkins, there will still be people that think he had a lot to do with it.

The "Birthers" now have some place to go.

Bring it on.

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JustNoticed 2 years, 11 months ago

When are they going to charge St. Roy? You know he started the whole thing.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 11 months ago

This is known as plausible denyibility. Like Nixon not knowing about Watergate.

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