Ex-Georgetown Tennis Coach Sentenced in College Admissions Scheme

A former Georgetown University tennis coach was sentenced to 30 months in prison Friday for accepting nearly $3.5 million in bribe payments in exchange for helping students who were not necessarily qualified get into the D.C. college.

Gordon Ernst, 55, who has a home in Rockville and one in Massachusetts, also was ordered to forfeit $3.4 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts. He was sentenced in connection with soliciting and accepting bribes and then failing to report all of the income from the bribes on his federal income taxes.

He also was sentenced to two years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home confinement, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “This is the longest prison term imposed in the college admissions case,” it states in the release.

The former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University pled guilty in October of 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, three counts of federal programs bribery and one count of filing a false tax return.

According to the charging document, Ernst solicited and received bribe payments from William “Rick” Singer and prospective Georgetown applicants to facilitate their admission to Georgetown as student athletes. Ernst then failed to report a significant portion of those bribe payments on his federal income tax returns.

According to the release, “Ernst regularly used at least two, and often as many as five, of the six recruitment slots Georgetown allotted him each year to recruit unqualified students in exchange for bribe payments. For more than 10 years, Ernst facilitated the admission of at least 22 students – at least 19 of which were Singer’s clients – to Georgetown as purported tennis recruits in exchange for a total of nearly $3.5 million in bribe payments. He then failed to report all of the income from those bribe payments on his federal income tax returns.”

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