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Former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst convicted of college admission scandal

A former Georgetown University tennis coach who once coached the family of former President Barack Obama was sentenced to two years in prison for bribeing more than $ 3 million on Friday. A wealthy parent who was sentenced to half a sentence helped deceive the children's path to school.

Gordon Ernst's ruling is the toughest punishment ever inherited in the vast college admission scandal , the chief of some rich parents taking their children. I shed some light on it. To be the most carefully selected school in the whole country.

Prosecutors admit that they have received nearly $ 3.5 million in bribes over a decade to designate a child with a deep-pocketed parent as a recruit, even though they are not Georgetown's caliber. I was looking for a four year delay for the 55-year-old Ernst. player.

Ernst told a judge in a federal court in Boston that he had lost his moral compass and took actions that were inconsistent with what he had taught his players to make the right choice.

"I'm most embarrassed that I didn't follow what I was preaching to them," he said.

In a letter to the judge, Ernst grew up on Rhode Island with his demanding, physically abusive father, the late Dick Ernst, a Rhode Island tennis legend. I explained that I grew up together. Father. "Ernst's mother told The Boston Globe that her husband was never abusive.

Ernst told hockey and tennis at Brown University in Providence. After that, he got a coaching job at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. He was offered the job of heading male and female tennis coaches in Georgetown in 2006, and two years later he was the mastermind of a bribe scheme from a friend. Ernst told the judge that he was introduced to the admissions consultant Rick Singer.

According to the prosecutor, Ernst has six spots he earned each year to recruit tennis players. Of these, he regularly gave unqualified students at least two, and often up to five, in exchange for a bribe. Over the years, he illegally enrolled about 20 students in school. Kristen Kearney, assistant US prosecutor, told the judge.

The sentence for the ex-Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst is by far the toughest punishment handed down so far in the sprawling college admissions bribery scandal.
AP Photo / Steven Senne, File

And unlike other coaches, according to the prosecutor, in the case of receiving a bribe in the form of money for a sports program, Ernst gave almost all his money to himself. Kearney said he used a bribe to pay his daughters' expensive private school tuition and buy a Cape Cod's house.

Attorneys said Asking the judge for a ruling of about a year, in court documents, Ernst said, like the tragic Greek mythical figure Icarus, "I forgot that my wings were made of wax because I was too close to the sun." Stated.

Surrounded by a wealthy and prestigious family in Georgetown, Ernst told himself that his starting salary was $ 55,000 and that no one was hurt by the bribe. Is writing.

Ernst has been trying to turn his life around since his arrest in 2019, working part-time as a tennis instructor, hockey referee, and car rental cleaner, Ernst's lawyer said.

"Gordy has fallen from the White House to the tabloids, a fall from grace for much longer than the courts see in normal cases," his lawyer wrote.

Judge Indira Tarwani of the U.S. District Court called Ernst's behavior "terrible" and saw it as a measure of success, resulting in a desire to portray himself as a wealthy person. I said it seems.

Ernst left Georgetown in 2018 after an internal investigation into what the school explained about the "irregularity of exercise qualifications" of recruiting students and violated admission rules. I concluded that.

He was later hired by the University of Rhode Island, claiming he was unaware of any violations of admission rules. He resigned from the school shortly after his arrest.

Ernst is one of 54 people convicted of the Operation Varsity Blues case, which exploded in the headline in March 2019.

The last defendant linked to the investigation to go to trial was acquitted by a jury in all respects last month . Another defendant was amnesty by former President Donald Trump, and a third defendant won a transaction that would lead to the dismissal of his proceedings.

Until Friday, the most severe punishment was a former Staples executive convicted of a jury paying $ 220,000 to designate his son as a water polo recruit at the University of Southern California. It was 15 months in prison for John Wilson. An additional $ 1 million to buy his twin daughter's way to Harvard and Stanford. Wilson argues that he is innocent and that remains free while appealing his proceedings.

Only a handful of defendants will be sentenced.

This includes the scheme mastermind singer, who was found guilty on numerous charges in 2019. The singer secretly began working with investigators before the case was announced, helping the government build a large prosecution. He will be sentenced to prison in September.