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Michelle Obama's Personal Tennis Instructor Charged in College Admissions Bribery Scheme

Claudine Varela
Mar 21, 2019
12:23 P.M.
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Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama's former tennis trainer has been accused of taking part in a large-scale college bribery scheme. The former tennis coach of Georgetown University reportedly made $2.7 million by facilitating the admission of unqualified students.

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The Obamas’ former tennis trainer has been implicated in a college bribery scheme, one of many discovered this week involving top US schools.

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TENNIS COACH TURNED SHADY ADMISSIONS RECRUITER

52-year-old Gordon Ernst has been accused of using his position as Georgetown tennis coach to admit unqualified students to his college team and secure their entry into the institution. The former personal tennis instructor of Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama reportedly accepted bribes amounting to $2.7 million deposited in fake charitable accounts to facilitate the admission of 12 students. He was in the fraudulent business since 2012.

In 2017, Ernst was fired from Georgetown after school officials discovered “irregularities in his recruitment practices.” Rhode Island hired him a year later but placed him on administrative leave on Tuesday due to the scandal. The Obamas are in no way linked to the scheme

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THE MASTERMIND

Ernst conspired with mastermind William “Rick” Singer, a counselor in the university who went to great lengths to legitimize students’ applications. Also the owner of an admissions consulting company, he reportedly helped stage photos of students playing a particular sport to the point of using existing images of athletes and photoshopping the faces of the applicants on them. The large-scale scheme reportedly earned him over $25 million.

Singer has been charged with racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice and has pled guilty to them.

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THE BRIBERY SCANDAL INVOLVING TWO PROMINENT CELEBRITIES

50 people were charged this week in what could be the biggest and most high-profile college bribery scandal to date. Among the wealthy parents who were charged were actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying half a million to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. Meanwhile, Huffman whose husband is William H. Macy allegedly paid $15,000 to doctor her daughter’s SAT test.

Loughlin surrendered herself to authorities after returning from Canada where she was filming a Hallmark movie. She and her husband both posted bail of $1 million each. Huffman was also arrested and was released after posting a $250k bail.

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