BOSTON (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to bribing a Georgetown University tennis coach to send his daughter to school was sentenced to nearly a month of home detention on Thursday. .
Robert Lepera, a former pharmaceutical executive, agreed to pay then-Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst at least $120,000 to name his daughter a tennis recruit at the University of Washington, D.C. said the prosecutor.
Unlike other parents indicted in a sprawling college admissions bribery scandal who bribed coaches and others through middlemen — admissions consultant Rick Singer — Lepera arranged deals directly with Ernst. said the prosecutor.
Lepera, from Ambler, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to a year of probation and placed in home custody until Labor Day. He was also ordered to serve 220 hours of community service and pay his $220,000 fine.
Prosecutors were seeking a one-month prison sentence, saying he “played an active role in the scheme by initiating emails and meetings with Ernst.”
Lepera’s attorney said in court documents that his client’s daughter had the grades and athletic ability to enroll in Georgetown and play tennis there.
Ernst told Lepera he had to support the tennis program if he wanted his daughter to play there, and instructed him to write a blank check to make sure the money would actually go to the program. But Ernst pocketed the money instead, Lepera’s lawyer said.
“One of the main factors that led to Mr. Lepera’s probation and outcome was the complete accuracy of his daughter’s academic and athletic information submitted to Georgetown,” said defense attorney Robert. Fisher said in an email. “His daughter recently graduated from Georgetown and is on good terms with the university.”
In 2020, Repella pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit email fraud and Honest Services email fraud.
Ernst, who once ran the family of former President Barack Obama, was accused in July of getting more than $3 million in bribes in exchange for helping wealthy parents trick their children into school. Ernst’s punishment is by far the longest sentence ever handed down in a large-scale case.
The singer is scheduled to be sentenced in November. He pleaded guilty to several felonies after helping authorities create a large-scale case by secretly recording conversations with his parents and sports coaches.
More than 50 people were convicted in the highly publicized “Operation Varsity Blues” case in March 2019.
The last defendant to be tried in connection with the investigation was acquitted by a jury on all counts. won a deal that is expected to lead to the rejection of
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