A Pennsylvania dad bribed a college tennis coach to recruit his daughter and get her into Georgetown University, federal officials say.
His daughter has since graduated from Georgetown, and now he has been sentenced to a year of probation.
The 63-year-old Ambler man also must spend the first 25 days in home detention, complete 220 hours of community service and pay a $220,000 fine, according to an Aug. 11 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
He was sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May 2020. Authorities say he had paid more than $120,000 to a former head Georgetown tennis coach, starting in 2017.
McClatchy News is not naming the dad to protect the identity of his daughter, as investigators did not find any evidence of her being involved in the scheme.
“We are pleased that (he) received probation and that one of the main factors that led to that result is that his daughter’s academic and athletic information submitted to Georgetown was entirely accurate,” defense attorney Robert Fisher said in a statement to McClatchy News. “His daughter recently graduated from Georgetown and is in good standing with the university.”
McClatchy News reached out to Georgetown University for a comment and is awaiting a response.
In court documents, Fisher said the man’s daughter “was academically and athletically qualified to be admitted to and play tennis at Georgetown (and did in fact play).”
But while prosecutors agree she played competitive tennis, they say “her abilities were not at the level of a typical Georgetown recruit.” Officials say she received one of six annual recruitment spots as a result of her dad’s payments to the now-former coach, who has since been ordered to forfeit over $3 million in bribes and spend 30 months in prison.
Authorities say the dad, a former pharmaceutical executive, first flew to meet the coach in Falmouth, Massachusetts in August 2017. He was taking “an active role in his younger daughter’s college application process.”
Court records state the coach proposed the father pay him to recruit his daughter. The man “readily agreed.”
He made several payments, including ones made via cashier’s checks to the coach’s daughter’s private school.
“His actions undermined the integrity of the college admissions process,” prosecutors said. “In terms of culpability, he falls squarely in the middle of the pack of parents the government has charged in the various college admissions cases, who agreed to bribe coaches in exchange for having their children recruited as athletes to facilitate their admission to college.”
Authorities say this man’s bribes were not part of the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal led by William “Rick” Singer, which the Georgetown coach was found to be a part of.
“Instead, he arranged his bribery deal with (the coach) directly,” officials said. “And (he) agreed to the quid pro quo arrangement ... after just one meeting — the relationship was criminal from the jump.”