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Tennis coach agrees to plead guilty to Varsity Blues college admissions program

He is also expected to lose over $ 3 million.

Rhode Island tennis legend Gordon Ernst, who once coached at Georgetown, has agreed to plead guilty to his role in the college admissions cheating scheme that involved actress Lori Loughlin and other prominent figures prominent, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

Ernst has been accused of accepting nearly $ 3 million in bribes to pass off some high school students as Georgetown tennis rookies.

He has agreed to plead guilty to five separate counts, including conspiracy, bribing federal programs and filing false income tax returns, the documents show.

“The accused expressly and unequivocally admits that he committed the crimes charged to counts four through seven and twenty-one of the second preceding indictment, did so knowingly, intentionally and willfully, and is in fact guilty of these offenses, ”the document said.

In return for Ernst’s plea, federal prosecutors in Boston agreed to recommend a maximum sentence of four years in prison followed by two years of supervised release. He is also expected to lose over $ 3 million.

Ernst coached in Georgetown for 12 years. At that time, prosecutors alleged that he had accepted bribes to bring at least a dozen candidates into Georgetown as tennis rookies, even though some of them were not playing tennis from competition.

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, had paid scheme mastermind Rick Singer $ 500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as rookies to the rowing team, even though their daughters were not competitive athletes.

The parents were among 50 suspects indicted in the so-called Varsity Blues investigation, which found wealthy parents who cheated college applications and entrance exams to enroll their children in elite schools . In some cases, parents have bribed coaches who tampered with students’ athletic histories, including a case where a photo of an actual athlete was manipulated to look like one of the students, prosecutors said.

The “Full House” actress was sentenced to two months in prison, fined $ 150,000 and two years on probation with 100 hours of community service, while her husband, a fashion designer , was sentenced to five months in prison, a $ 250,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service, according to the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office.

Loughlin was released from prison in December 2020. Giannulli was released in April.