- The Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chris Schaepe has left Lightspeed Venture Partners after disclosing a link to the college-admissions cheating scandal.
- Schaepe is said to have made donations to a foundation run by disgraced college-admissions coach Rick Singer – totalling more than $US630,000 – to help get his son into the University of Texas.
- Schaepe was not arrested in connection with the scandal, and he told Axios in a statement that he didn’t knowingly participate in any bribery schemes.
Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Chris Schaepe has left the venture-capital firm after admitting a link to the college-admissions cheating scandal that has rocked elite circles.
Schaepe, a regular on the Forbes Midas List for his success as an investor in the software industry, worked with disgraced college-admissions coach Rick Singer to help his son get into the University of Texas, as first reported on Wednesday by Axios.
A person familiar with the situation said that Schaepe was “terminated” from Lightspeed after his partners decided he would have to focus too much time and attention dealing with the situation.
A spokesperson for Lightspeed Venture Partners told Business Insider:
Lightspeed Partner Chris Schaepe recently made the firm aware of a personal matter. We determined to separate from Chris to ensure this matter does not interfere with firm operations. The matter does not involve the firm, its personnel or its portfolio companies.
Schaepe was not arrested in connection with the scandal, and he told Axios in a statement that he didn’t knowingly participate in any bribery schemes.
Details of Schaepe’s alleged involvement came through a criminal complaint against Michael Center, the coach for the university’s men’s-tennis team. Schaepe’s son is referred to in the complaint as “Applicant-1.”
Schaepe made “purported” donations to Singer’s foundation, totalling more than $US630,000, according to the complaint. Ultimately, Schaepe’s son received a letter of intent to join the men’s-tennis team from Center, the complaint said.
A spokeswoman for Schaepe told Business Insider that the family was “deeply disturbed that the person they had trusted to guide them through the college-application process was engaged in inappropriate acts.”
“Like countless other families, they believed that his services and his foundation were all above board, and were shocked by his deception,” the spokeswoman said.
Schaepe, along with his wife Jenny Chiu, also support a scholarship at the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communication for “undergraduate students with financial need,” according to the school’s website.
Axios reported that Lightspeed was still reeling from a scandal in 2017, when it admitted that it “should have done more” when a female entrepreneur complained about former partner Justin Caldbeck, as he faced allegations of sexual misconduct from several women.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.