Georgetown student sues school over U.S. college admissions bribery scandal


(Reuters) – A Georgetown University undergraduate enmeshed in the U.S. college admissions scandal sued the school on Wednesday to block it from revoking his academic credits or expelling him, after his father pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud.

FILE PHOTO: Georgetown University stands in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Adam Semprevivo, who recently completed his junior year, objected to what he called Georgetown’s “arbitrary” and “capricious” disciplinary process, including its refusal to let him transfer to another school with his credits intact.

Semprevivo said the school’s in-house lawyer Adam Adler emailed him on Tuesday that he could not withdraw until Georgetown University finishes its review, and that the school has told him sanctions will be imposed.

Georgetown did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The lawsuit was filed in the federal court in Washington, D.C.

Fifty people have been accused of involvement in the admissions scandal, in which wealthy parents paid tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to win admission for their children at American colleges.

Semprevivo’s father, Los Angeles executive Stephen Semprevivo, became the third parent to admit guilt, pleading guilty on May 7 to conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.

Prosecutors said the father paid William “Rick” Singer, the California consultant at the center of the scandal, $400,000 to help his son get into Georgetown as a tennis recruit.

Adam Semprevivo was one of at least 12 students who former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst designated as tennis recruits from 2012 to 2018, in exchange for Ernst’s accepting more than $2.7 million of bribes from Singer, prosecutors said.

Ernst left Georgetown in 2018. He pleaded not guilty in March to a racketeering conspiracy charge.

Adam Semprevivo, who said he has a 3.18 grade point average, said he was unaware of his father’s actions until February.

He also said his high school transcripts reflected involvement on the school basketball team. Semprevivo never played tennis at Georgetown.

According to the complaint, Semprevivo’s family has paid Georgetown more than $200,000 in tuition, including more than $100,000 after the school learned of problems with Adam Semprevivo’s application.

Another parent charged in the admissions scandal, actress Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty on Monday.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Susan Thomas

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