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Student in college admissions scandal sues Georgetown over potential expulsion after father pleads guilty



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5/15/2019

Student in college admissions scandal sues Georgetown over potential expulsion after father pleads guilty


BY BRIAN PASCUS

A Georgetown University student caught up in the college admissions scandal is suing Georgetown to prevent the school from potentially kicking him out. 

Adam Semprevivo, the son of Los Angeles businessman Stephen Semprevivo, filed a lawsuit against Georgetown on Wednesday, seeking to stop the school from disciplining or expelling him for his alleged involvement in the college admissions scandal. Adam Semprevivo's lawsuit comes after his father pleaded guilty in a Boston court to paying $400,000 in bribes to get his son admitted into the private university in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors documented in their March 2019 criminal complaint that Stephen Semprevivo worked with admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer to bribe Gordon Ernst, the Georgetown tennis coach, to designate his son, Adam, as a tennis recruit, even though his son did not play tennis competitively. Adam Semprevivo was admitted to Georgetown in 2016.



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In court documents, prosecutors allege both Semprivivo and his son followed instructions from Singer, the mastermind of the college admissions scheme, to submit "fabricated representations" about Adam Semprevivo's "purported tennis experience." The evidence includes emails Adam Semprevivo allegedly sent to Coach Ernst and an application essay that "falsely indicated that he played tennis during all four years of high school and was ranked in single and doubles tennis." 


California businessman Stephen Semprevivo departs federal court May 7, 2019, in Boston, after pleading guilty to charges that he bribed the Georgetown tennis coach to get his son admitted to the school.STEVEN SENNE / AP

"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," the essay read, in part, according to court documents. "With a smile, I nod my head, but also insist that the sport I put my most energy into is tennis." 

According to prosecutors, Semprevivo's application listed him as a "CIF Scholar Athlete" and "Academic All American" in tennis and basketball and claimed he made the "Nike Federation all Academic Athletic Team" in tennis. Court documents claim records from the United States Tennis Association do not match any records for Adam Semprevivo, and there is no mention of tennis in his high school transcripts.




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The criminal complaint stated Adam Semprevivo was accepted into Georgetown University at the request of Ernst on April 22, 2016. According to prosecutors, since enrolling in the university he has not joined the tennis team.  

On Wednesday, Adam Semprevivo filed a lawsuit against Georgetown University alleging breach of contract and other claims. His lawsuit seeks "injunctive relief" preventing Georgetown from "revoking earned academic credits and subjecting Semprevivo to academic discipline," which could include measures "up through and including expulsion." The lawsuit claims his father entered into an agreement with Singer to get Adam admitted into Georgetown "without (his) knowledge." 

Oddly, Semprevivo's lawsuit does not seek to refute any of the allegations in the prosecutorial documents, including the falsified application regarding his tennis ability, but rather blames Georgetown University for not verifying his admittedly misrepresented application. 



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"Despite the fact that these misrepresentations could have been easily verified and debunked before Georgetown formally admitted Semprevivo in April 2016, no one at Georgetown did so," the lawsuit reads "Even a cursory examination of the two documents (application vs. transcript) would have made it clear they were absolutely inconsistent with one another." 


File photo of Georgetown University. JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP
Semprevivo's lawsuit argues Georgetown University is "being disingenuous in its position" in pursuing discipline or expulsion because the university had been aware "as early as 2017 of the issues concerning Coach Ernst," and fired him in 2018, before the college admissions scandal became public knowledge in March 2019. Georgetown's student newspaper reported the university investigated Ernst's recruiting tactics as early as December 2017.  

In a statement to CBS News, Georgetown University said it "cannot comment on pending litigation," but added "The University was not aware of any alleged criminal activity or acceptance of bribes by Mr. Ernst until it was later contacted by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The indictments filed by the U.S. Attorney this year named Georgetown and six other institutions as victims of fraud."

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According to Adam Semprevivo's lawsuit, on May 14, 2019 he offered "to withdraw from the university with his credits intact and no unfavorable notations on his transcript," but Georgetown refused those terms. The suit also claims "Georgetown has failed to conduct disciplinary proceedings in this case that comply with any notions of fundamental fairness," and says the university followed "none of the steps" in its Honor Council System Procedures. 

Semprevivo's lawsuit requests a jury trial for one count of breach of contract, one count of promissory estoppel — relating to Georgetown's alleged failure to ensure Semprevivo "fair due process" — and one count of unjust enrichment, relating to more than $200,000 of tuition the family has already paid to the university. 

Semprevivo also requested an injunction against Georgetown barring the university from imposing any academic punishments, including expulsion, and from revoking any academic credits he earned while enrolled at the school for the past three years. 



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In its statement to CBS News, Georgetown University said: 

"Applicants to Georgetown affirm that the information and statements contained in their applications are true, correct and complete. Knowingly misrepresenting or falsifying credentials in an application can be cause for rescinding the admission of the student and dismissal from Georgetown.

"Today, we informed two students of our intent to rescind their admission and dismiss them from Georgetown. Each student case was addressed individually and each student was given multiple opportunities to respond and provide information to the University."

Georgetown would not confirm if Adam Semprevivo is one of the two students whose admission is intended to be rescinded. CBS News' efforts to contact Adam Semprevivo's attorney were unsuccessful. 







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5/15/2019

父捲入大學入學弊案 兒反控學校阻開除

(World Journal) 記者胡玉立

一名捲入大學錄取弊案的喬治城大學(Georgetown University)大三學生,在父親承認支付40萬元好讓兒子進該校就讀後,15日反控校方在調查他的入學案、考慮對他施加懲處時,違反該校榮譽制度規定並剝奪了他的正當法律程序。

亞當·塞普雷維(Adam Semprevivo)向華府聯邦法院提出民事訴訟,以阻止喬治城大學將他開除、取消已修學分;已唸完大三的他表示,自己並不知道父親史蒂芬.塞普雷維(Stephen Semprevivo)支付賄款讓他進大學就讀。

訴訟案指出,「喬治城大學多次違反校方與塞普雷維的合約,威脅開除、取消學分,讓該生無法取得喬治城大學學位、剝奪他全家已支付逾20萬元學費,他還可能永遠無法將自己拿到的學分轉到另一所大學。」

 

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塞普雷維的律師表示,塞普雷維曾向校方提議,如果學校同意保留他的學分、不開除他,他願自4月起退學;但學校法律顧問14日否決了此提議。

史蒂芬.塞普雷維7日與檢方達成協議,承認在2016年4月開了40萬元支票給名校招生舞弊案主嫌辛格(Rick Singer)經營的非營利組織,讓兒子進喬治城就讀;其中部分資金給了當時該校網球隊總教練恩斯特(Gordon Ernst);恩斯特網羅亞當.塞普雷維進網球校隊,儘管他並不打網球。

亞當.塞普雷維在訟案中指出,喬治城大學2017年開始調查恩斯特被控收受辛格賄賂,至少指定12名大學新生成為網球新兵;恩斯特於2017年12月停職,校方2018年另行審核確定運動員名單、開除恩斯特。





訴訟指出,校方已獲知恩斯特教練和塞普雷維入學案行為有誤,卻仍繼續收取塞普雷維學費、讓他去上課、完成學分課程。校方未能基於任何公平概念、沒有遵循程序就對塞普雷維入學資格進行紀律處分,調查尚未結束就告訴他將實施懲處。

訴訟指出,「喬治城大學於2016年4月正式招收塞普雷維前,有許多虛假陳述可以很容易驗證並揭穿,校方卻無人這麼做。」 塞普雷維本人並未在辛格提交的大學申請書上簽名、他遞交的成績單特別優秀的是籃球,與網球無關。

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