A former Georgetown University tennis coach who at one time was the instructor of First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters was among the 50 people indicted this morning in a sweeping college admissions scandal.
The bribery scheme, which allegedly also involved actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman, entailed getting students admitted to some of the top schools in the country as recruited athletes – regardless of athletic ability – and helping those applicants cheat on their entrance exams.
Gordon Ernst, who until last year was employed as the head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at Georgetown, was named in the bombshell indictment, along with long-time Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith.
According to the unsealed indictment, between 2012 and 2018, during which time Ernst was the head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at Georgetown University, he received bribes totalling more than $2.7million, which was falsely labelled as ‘consulting.’
In exchange for the payoffs, Ernst allegedly designated at least a dozen applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team, including some who did not play competitively, in order to help them get into the university.
The money came from charitable accounts set up by the accused mastermind of the scheme, William Rick Singer, who founded the college consulting business Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key, in Newport Beach, California.
Prosecutors said parents paid Singer about $25million to bribe coaches and administrators into pretending that their children were athletic recruits to guarantee their admission.
In one instance, according to the documents, Ernst was allegedly paid $400,000 for getting the child of Singer’s clients into Georgetown under the guise of tennis recruitment, even though the applicant did not play competitive tennis.
Between September 2015 and August 2016, Ernst allegedly received checks totalling $700,000.
Ernst worked at Georgetown for 12 years before resigning in June 2018. Two months later, he was named the University of Rhode Island’s women’s tennis coach.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Snejana Farberov