CBS News

Los Angeles man sentenced to 4 months in college admissions scam

Sept. 30, 2019
Stephen Semprevivo paid $400,000 to get his son into Georgetown University by falsely claiming he was a competitive tennis player.

A Los Angeles-based executive who paid $400,000 to get his child into Georgetown University under the guise that he was a tennis recruit has been sentenced to four months in prison.

CNN reports that Stephen Semprevivo received the sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. He was the third parent to be sentenced in the college admissions fraud scheme that has ensnared more than 50 parents, college coaches and test administrators.

The four-month sentence is identical to that given to Devin Sloane, another  Los Angeles-based executive who paid $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California falsely as a water polo player.

Actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to have her child's SAT test score artificially inflated, was sentenced to two weeks in prison.

So far, federal judge Indira Talwani has doled out sentences well below prosecutor's recommendations in the college admissions prosecutions.

At the same time, Talwani has ordered each of the wealthy parents to pay fines higher than what prosecutors recommended. Talwani sentenced Semprevivo to pay a $100,000 fine, Sloane to pay a $95,000 fine and Huffman to pay a $30,000 fine.

Semprevivo, Sloane and Huffman are among the 35 parents who have been charged as part of a scheme to cheat, bribe and lie to gain an advantage in the college admissions system. Sixteen parents have pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges.

Semprevivo was accused of conspiring with scheme mastermind Rick Singer to bribe Gordon Ernst, the Georgetown tennis coach, to designate his son as a recruited tennis player and facilitate his acceptance to the university. But Semprevivo's son did not play tennis competitively.

Ernst has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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