- Stephen Semprevivo, a Los Angeles-based executive, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday as part of the college admissions scandal.
- He agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud on April 7, and a judge accepted his plea on Tuesday afternoon.
- Prosecutors have recommended an 18-month prison sentence,according to Semprevivo’s plea agreement.
- Semprevivo paid $US400,000 to get his son in to Georgetown University as a recruited tennis player, according to a criminal complaint.
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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.
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.
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.
In total, 50 people have been indicted in the scheme and prosecutors have told INSIDER that more defendants could be charged.
- Read more about the college admissions scandal:
- Here’s how Hallmark wrote Lori Loughlin out of her show after the college admissions scandal blew up
- A student whose parents reportedly paid $US6.5 million to get her into Stanford said she was admitted because of ‘hard work’
- People are mocking an old USC crew recruitment poster that said experience isn’t necessary after the team was caught up in the college admissions scandal
- A Yale women’s soccer player says behind the college admissions scandal is a decade of abuses of power and sexist behaviour in the program