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The final case related to the college bribery scandal is scheduled to start jury selection in Boston federal court Tuesday.
Wellington-founder Amin Khoury, 54, is accused of bribing Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst into helping his daughter get admitted to the Ivy League in 2015 as a tennis recruit.
Khoury was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2020 on “one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds,” according to a press release by the Department of Justice District of Massachusetts office.
The indictment states Khoury paid Ernst approximately $200,000 via a middleman to ensure his daughter’s recruitment starting in 2014.
Ernst was found to have emailed the college counselor at Khoury’s daughter’s school saying he was “willing to energetically recruit” her to the team, according to court documents.
Khoury’s daughter applied to Georgetown in October 2014, with Ernst’s letter of recommendation saying she played “number six singles and third doubles on her high school team” attached.
Ernst proceeded to email an admissions officer at Georgetown a few days after Khoury’s daughter had applied, naming her as a tennis recruit without disclosing the agreement with Khoury. Ernst also forwarded her standardized test scores and grades to the admissions officer.
In November 2014, Khoury asked Ernst via text whether his daughter should participate in an alumni interview. Ernst said yes and also stated Khoury’s daughter should emphasize her interest in being recruited to the tennis team during the interview.
A month later, Georgetown reached out to Khoury’s daughter, stating they had “conducted an initial review” of her application per Ernst’s requests and her admissions prospects were “likely.” She was eventually admitted to the university in 2015.
Khoury’s lawyers have maintained his daughter was properly admitted to the university, while prosecutors argue Khoury is attempting to make the case about Georgetown’s fundraising practices in an effort to confuse 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,” prosecutors wrote in a filing.
The middleman in the deal is expected to testify during the trial and state the deal came together while Ernst, Khoury, and himself were at a Brown University reunion in Rhode Island, per court documents. The middleman was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony in front of the grand jury and during the trial.
Ernst was previously arrested in March 2019 along with other parents and college officials related to the Varsity Blues scandal involving admissions consultant Rick Singer. Khoury’s case is not considered part of that scandal because he didn’t work with Singer.
After Ernst’s arrest, authorities say Khoury called the middleman and told him to tell authorities the money he relayed was for tennis lessons. Ernst later pled guilty in October in a deal that would guarantee him no more than four years behind bars.
Ernst has already stated via court documents he will not be testifying at Khoury’s trial due to his right against self-incrimination if called to the stand. Ernst is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
Fox News reached out to Khoury’s lawyers but did not immediately hear back.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.