cloudyn.png
Monday October 3rd, 2022 8:08PM

Final case tied to college bribery scandal heads to trial

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BOSTON (AP) — A father accused of bribing a Georgetown University tennis coach to help get his daughter into the school is set to face jurors in the final case linked to the sprawling college admissions bribery scandal to go to trial.

Amin Khoury isn't accused of working with the mastermind in the scheme that landed TV actresses, prominent businessmen and other wealthy parents behind bars.

Authorities say instead Khoury used another middleman to pay off then-Georgetown coach Gordon Ernst in exchange for Ernst recruiting Khoury's daughter to the tennis team even though she wasn't a Georgetown-caliber player.

Jury selection in Khoury's case begins Tuesday in Boston federal court, more than three years after the first arrests were made in the so-called “Operation Varsity Blues” investigation. The case revealed a plot to get the children of deep-pocketed parents into elite schools with rigged test scores and bogus athletic credentials.

Khoury's lawyers didn't respond to emails seeking comment ahead of trial. But they have said in court documents that Khoury's daughter was properly admitted to Georgetown and that the school regularly treated children whose parents could donate huge sums of money favorably in the admissions process.

“Georgetown and the government seemingly would prefer that the jury deliberate under the false impression that college admissions is a pure meritocracy, which it most certainly is not,” Khoury’s lawyers said in a recent court filing.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, have accused Khoury of trying to make the trial about Georgetown's fundraising practices in an effort to confuse and distract jurors.

“Even if the defendant could somehow paint Georgetown as corrupt, that does not make it more or less likely that the defendant agreed to join in a conspiracy or bribed a Georgetown employee to get his daughter listed as a fake tennis recruit,” they wrote in a recent court filing.

Khoury's father, Amin J. Khoury, founded Wellington, Florida-based B/E Aerospace, an aircraft cabin interiors maker that was bought in 2017 for more than $6 billion.

Khoury is technically not part of the “Varsity Blues” prosecution because he wasn't involved with the scheme’s ringleader — admissions consultant Rick Singer — who used his sham charity to funnel bribes to coaches and others. But the allegations in Khoury's case are similar, and the coach he is accused of bribing has pleaded guilty in the Varsity Blues probe.

The middleman is expected to testify that the deal came together when Khoury, Ernst and the middleman were in Rhode Island for a reunion at Brown University, where they all played on the tennis team, according to court documents. The middleman was given immunity in exchange for his testimony before the grand jury and at trial.

Ernst, who was also once the personal tennis coach for former first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, told the middleman after a reunion party that under the deal Ernst would get $200,000 and the middleman would also be paid for his role, according to court documents.

Khoury’s daughter was admitted to Georgetown in 2015. Afterward, authorities say the middleman picked up cash in a brown paper bag from Khoury’s Cape Cod home and drove it to Ernst’s wife, who was also on Cape Cod.

After Ernst was arrested in March 2019 along with dozens of other parents and coaches, authorities say Khoury called the middleman and told him that if he was asked he should say that Khoury had given him the money for tennis lessons.

Ernst pleaded guilty in October to accepting bribes under a deal in which prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than four years behind bars.

Ernst won't be testifying at Khoury's trial because he said he would assert his right against self-incrimination if called to the stand, prosecutors said in a recent court filing. Ernst is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Only three of 56 people charged in Singer's college cheating scheme went to trial, and jurors found all three guilty.

One parent was pardoned by former President Donald Trump and one coach got a deferred prosecution agreement under which prosecutors will move to dismiss his case after 24 months if he pays the fine and abides by the terms of the agreement.

The 51 remaining defendants pleaded guilty. They include “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who served two months behind bars, and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, who served almost five months in prison. “Desperate Housewives” actor Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying to rig her daughter's SAT scores.

Punishments have ranged from probation to 15 months behind bars. Singer is expected to be sentenced in August.

The two parents convicted at trial — Gamal Abdelaziz, a former casino executive, and John Wilson, a former Staples Inc. executive — remain out of prison while they appeal their cases.

____

Follow Alanna Durkin Richer on Twitter at twitter.com/aedurkinricher

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, College Sports, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctor named in abortion case has nothing to do with lawsuit
Dr. Thomas Dobbs has never gotten involved in political fights over reproductive health, but his name has become shorthand for a legal case that could end abortion rights in the United States
8:35AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Gunmen at Nigeria church shot from both inside and outside
The gunmen who attacked a church during Sunday Mass in southwestern Nigeria opened fire inside and outside, killing at least 50 people
8:24AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Final case tied to college bribery scandal heads to trial
A father accused of bribing a Georgetown University tennis coach to help get his daughter into the school is set to face jurors in the final case linked to the sweeping college admissions bribery scandal to go to trial
8:15AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Coco Gauff's ranking to career-high 13th; Nadal up to 4th
American teenager Coco Gauff has moved up to a career-best No. 13 in the WTA rankings after her runner-up finish to No. 1 Iga Swiatek at the French Open
3:52AM ( 4 hours ago )
Dodgers show they have depth in addition to stars
With all the former MVPs on their roster, it feels almost unfair when the Los Angeles Dodgers get major contributions from less heralded players
2:12AM ( 6 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Angels' skid at 11, Mets vs Padres, Ray slumps
Mike Trout is mired in the worst slump of his brilliant career and the Angels are one loss from matching their longest skid in 34 years
2:03AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Sports
Muslim nations slam India over insulting remarks about Islam
India is facing major diplomatic outrage from Muslim-majority countries after two top officials in the governing Hindu nationalist party made derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad
7:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
An infamous day. A search for answers. Will America tune in?
A congressional committee’s hearings on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection are coming up, and the public has been told to expect revelations
6:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
US, S. Korea fire missiles to sea, matching North's launches
The U.S. and South Korea have launched eight ballistic missiles into the sea in a show of force matching a North Korean display a day earlier that extended a provocative streak in weapons demonstrations
5:25AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
2022 midterms: What to watch in primaries in 7 states
Primary elections in seven states Tuesday will set the stage for U.S. House and Senate battles this fall that will play into control of Congress
12:10AM ( 8 hours ago )
Biden hoping to avoid Summit of the Americas flop in LA
When leaders gather this week in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas, the focus is likely to veer from policy issues like migration, climate change and inflation and instead shift to something Hollywood thrives on: the drama of the red carpet
12:06AM ( 8 hours ago )
Putin warns West against sending arms; Kyiv hit by missiles
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the West not to send longer-range rocket systems to Ukraine
12:04AM ( 8 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Czech, Smith lead Texas past Arizona, into WCWS semifinals
Estelle Czech allowed just one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, JJ Smith hit a three-run homer and Texas defeated Arizona 5-2 to advance to the Women’s College World Series semifinals
9:54PM ( 10 hours ago )
Oklahoma St. poster team for regionals' offensive firepower
Prodigious offense was on display once again in the NCAA baseball tournament
8:16PM ( 12 hours ago )
Women's golf youth movement includes rising stars Ko, Korda
With an abundance of rising young stars gaining notoriety, women's golf is drawing more attention — and sponsorships — in the post-Covid era
4:22PM ( 2 days ago )
College Sports
Live updates | Ukraine says east under relentless attacks
A regional governor in Ukraine says that the situation in a key eastern town has worsened
6:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
Global stocks rise on improved Chinese services data
Global stock markets and Wall Street futures advanced after the downturn in China’s service industries eased and news reports said the Biden administration might lift U.S. tariffs on some Chinese imports
4:53AM ( 3 hours ago )
Australian court makes Google pay $515,000 for defamation
An Australian court has ordered Google to pay a former politician 715,000 Australian dollars  ($515,000) over two defamatory YouTube videos
4:30AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Doctor named in abortion case has nothing to do with lawsuit
Dr. Thomas Dobbs has never gotten involved in political fights over reproductive health, but his name has become shorthand for a legal case that could end abortion rights in the United States
8:35AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Gunmen at Nigeria church shot from both inside and outside
The gunmen who attacked a church during Sunday Mass in southwestern Nigeria opened fire inside and outside, killing at least 50 people
8:24AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Wall Street futures point higher to open the week
Wall Street futures jumped on Monday after the downturn in China’s service industries eased and news reports said the Biden administration might lift U.S. tariffs on some Chinese imports
8:00AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Live updates | Russian FM warns West over long-range rockets
The Russian foreign minister has warned the West that if it provides Ukraine with long-range rockets, Moscow will respond by taking over larger areas of Ukraine
7:59AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Gunmen at Nigeria church shot from both inside, outside
The gunmen who attacked a church during Sunday Mass in southwestern Nigeria opened fire inside and outside, killing at least 50 people
7:57AM ( 45 minutes ago )