Story at a glance

  • The former Tennis coach at Georgetown University reportedly plans to plead guilty for his role in a college admissions cheating scandal notable for its connection to actress Lori Laughlin.
  • Ernst has agreed to plead guilty to five separate counts, including conspiracy, federal programs bribery and filing false tax returns.
  • Ernst, who coached at Georgetown for 12 years, allegedly accepted bribes to facilitate the entry of at least 12 students into the university, even though some were not Tennis recruits.

The former Tennis coach at Georgetown University reportedly plans to plead guilty for his role in a massive college admissions cheating scandal notable for its connection to actor Lori Laughlin. 

Gordon Ernst was charged with allegedly accepting around $3 million in bribes and has agreed to plead guilty to five separate counts, including conspiracy, federal programs bribery and filing false tax returns, according to court documents reviewed by ABC News

“Defendant expressly and unequivocally admits that he committed the crimes charged in Counts Four through Seven and Twenty-One of the Second Superseding Indictment, did so knowingly, intentionally and willfully, and is in fact guilty of those offenses,” the document said, per ABC. 


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Ernst, who coached at Georgetown for 12 years, allegedly accepted bribes to facilitate the entry of at least 12 students into the university, even though some were not Tennis recruits. Prosecutors, in exchange for his plea, will ask for no more than a four year prison sentence and forfeiture of all the alleged bribe money. 

A total of 57 people have been charged in the scandal known as Varsity Blues, and 47 have already pleaded guilty. 

Loughlin, the former “Full House” actor, served two months in prison, while her husband Mossimo Giannulli served 5 months for paying the scheme’s leader Rick Singer $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California (USC) 

Former CEO of the Pacific Investment Management Co., Douglas Hodge, has served the longest sentence -- 9 months -- for paying a total of $850,000 to help four of his children gain entry to Georgetown and USC, according to The Associated Press (AP)


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Published on Sep 15, 2021