Georgetown University moves to dismiss two students connected to college admissions scam
Georgetown University intends to dismiss and rescind the admission of two students who were connected to the national college admissions scam, the university said in a statement.
The announcement came hours after one of the students filed a lawsuit against the university in an attempt to prevent his expulsion.
Georgetown was one of a handful of schools named in the admissions scam that came to light in March. Prosecutors accused wealthy parents of bribing test administrators and college coaches to game the admissions system and get their children into selective universities.
After the charges were announced, Georgetown said it began contacting current students who may have been involved and giving them an opportunity to respond.
“Applicants to Georgetown affirm that the information and statements contained in their applications are true, correct and complete. Knowingly misrepresenting or falsifying credentials in an application can be cause for rescinding the admission of the student and dismissal from Georgetown,” the statement said.
“Today, we informed two students of our intent to rescind their admission and dismiss them from Georgetown. Each student case was addressed individually and each student was given multiple opportunities to respond and provide information to the University.”
One of those students, Adam Semprevivo, filed a lawsuit hours earlier to prevent Georgetown from expelling him and to keep the credits he says he earned while studying so that he could transfer to a new school.
His father, Stephen Semprevivo, pleaded guilty last week to a federal conspiracy fraud charge. He admitted to paying $400,000 to get his son into Georgetown under the guise that he was a tennis recruit. Prosecutors agreed to recommend that he be sentenced to 18 months in prison, a plea agreement states.
David Kenner, Adam Semprevivo’s attorney, said the student was handed a “life sentence” — a dismissal from a prestigious university with notes on his permanent transcript that would “follow him into his career and job applications.” He told CNN he plans to file an amended complaint “as soon as this evening” in response to Georgetown’s move to dismiss and rescind admission of his client.
Other universities have also moved to dismiss students who were accepted to the university based on false credentials. Yale rescinded the admission of a student whose family paid $1.2 million to get in, and Stanford expelled the student linked to a $500,000 donation to the sailing program.
What the complaint says
Adam Semprevivo had no knowledge of the agreement his father entered into with the scheme’s mastermind Rick Singer, the lawsuit says.
But according to the criminal complaint, Singer emailed Stephen Semprevivo, his wife and their son instructions in August 2015 on what to email Gordon Ernst, the head coach of the Georgetown tennis team. An ensuing email, sent from Stephen Semprevivo’s son’s account, included fabricated representations of his tennis experience, the complaint states.
His application also falsely indicated he played tennis all four years of high school and was ranked in singles and doubles tennis, the complaint states. However, his college applications to other schools did not reference tennis, and records from the United States Tennis Association do not include any match records for his son, the complaint states.
The complaint states that Stephen Semprevivo’s son was admitted to Georgetown as a tennis recruit, and the Semprevivo family trust then issued a $400,000 check to Singer’s fake charity. Singer’s charity then issued checks to Ernst totaling $950,000 for facilitating the admission of Stephen Semprevivo’s son and other clients, the complaint states.
In all, Ernst allegedly earned $2.7 million in bribes in exchange for designating at least 12 applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team, an indictment states. Ernst has pleaded not guilty to a charge of racketeering conspiracy.
Singer has confessed to carrying out the scheme and pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.