The last conspirator in a more than $2 million ticket scalping scandal at the University of Kansas admitted Thursday that he was aware there was a "lucrative market" for tickets to the school's sporting events.
Associate athletic director of development Ben Kirtland pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy without any deal with prosecutors. The charge related to wire fraud, evading taxes and transporting stolen goods.
Kirtland, 54, of Lenexa, was in charge of fundraising for the nonprofit group that promotes Jayhawk athletics. He was the last of seven defendants to plead guilty for their roles in the scheme.
Kirtland admitted in his written plea petition that between 2005 and 2009, he sold tickets to the school's athletic events and shared the proceeds with an unnamed co-defendant in the case. Kirtland said he did not know the exact value of the tickets he sold, but estimated they were worth more than $120,000.
"During this time period I was aware that there was a lucrative market for KU tickets and that these tickets were often sold by ticket brokers who advertised and sold tickets on line," Kirtland wrote in his petition.
He admitted that he converted checks to money orders to avoid detection and that he did not claim the proceeds on his tax returns or report the outside income in annual reports filed with Kansas Athletics.
Kirtland also agreed to a $2 million forfeiture judgment for which he and the other defendants are jointly and individually responsible.
Kirtland faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although the sentence is likely to be much lower under federal sentencing guidelines.
His sentencing was set for May 12.