An LA executive who paid $400,000 to have his son admitted into Georgetown as a tennis player in the college admissions scandal pleaded guilty in court

A Los Angeles-based executive who paid $US400,000 to get his son into Georgetown University as a recruited tennis player in the college admissions scandal appeared in federal court to plead guilty in the scheme on Tuesday.

Stephen Semprevivo, an executive at a privately held provider of outsourced sales teams, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud on April 7, and a judgeaccepted his plea on Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors have recommended an 18-month prison sentence, according to Semprevivo’s plea agreement, much lower than the 20-year maximum sentence for the crimes. His sentencing date is scheduled for September 11.

Prosecutors say Semprevivo wrote a $US400,000 check to a sham charity owned by college admissions scandal ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, in April 2016.

Read more:
Here’s the full list of people charged in the college admissions cheating scandal, and who has pleaded guilty so far

According to a criminal complaint filed in March, a portion of the funds went to Georgetown’s then-tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who helped facilitate Semprevivo’s son’s recruitment to the school as a tennis player, despite knowing the teen did not play the sport.

The criminal complaint said Singer emailed Semprevivo, his wife, and son in August 2015 with instructions on what to email Ernst before being admitted.

Rick singer college scandal
Rick Singer. Rick Singer/Facebook

The email included his SAT scores, high school transcript, and a note about the teen’s tennis skills, saying that he “played very well with terrific success in Doubles this summer and played quite well in singles too.”

In October 2015, Singer emailed Semprevivo and his son an “activity” essay that was part of his application as a tennis recruit, according to prosecutors.

The essay said: “When I walk into a room, people will normally look up and make a comment about my height – I’m 6’5 – and ask me if I play basketball. With a smile, I nod my head, but also insist that the sport I put my most energy into is tennis.”

The application falsely said the teen played tennis all four years of high school, the criminal complaint said.

In April 2016, after Semprevivo’s son was admitted to Georgetown, Singer sent him an invoice for $US400,000. The executive then sent the check days later, according to court documents.

Semprevivo’s son enrolled in Georgetown in Fall 2016. Since enrolling, he has not joined the tennis team, according to the criminal complaint.

Semprevivo is one of 33 parents charged in the college admissions scandal. He and several others, including Singer and actress Felicity Huffman, have pleaded guilty.

In total, 50 people have been indicted in the scheme and prosecutors have told INSIDER that more defendants could be charged.