You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Parent Charged in College Admissions Case

Defendant is the 57th person to be charged in connection with the nationwide college admissions investigation and prosecution

BOSTON – A Massachusetts man was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with using fraud and bribery to have his daughter designated as a tennis recruit for Georgetown University.

Amin Khoury, 54, of Palm Beach, Fla. and Mashpee, Mass., was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

According to the indictment, in May 2014, Khoury agreed to pay Gordon Ernst, who at the time was employed as the head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at Georgetown University, approximately $200,000 through a third-party in exchange for Ernst designating Khoury’s daughter as a purported tennis recruit to Georgetown University, despite the fact that Khoury’s daughter’s tennis skills were below that of a typical Georgetown tennis recruit. 

In December 2014, Georgetown mailed Khoury’s daughter a letter informing her that the Committee on Admissions had reviewed her application at Ernst’s request, and had rated her admission as “likely.” In May 2015, after Khoury’s daughter was formally accepted to Georgetown, Khoury allegedly flew to Massachusetts with $200,000 in cash. Khoury then met with a third-party at his Cape Cod home and gave the third-party $180,000 in cash with the understanding that the money would be given to Ernst, and also provided the third-party with $20,000. The third-party then allegedly drove to Falmouth where he met with Ernst’s spouse and provided her with $170,000 in cash, keeping $10,000 as an additional fee. It is further alleged that Ernst thereafter continued to pursue Khoury to collect the remaining $20,000 that Khoury owed Ernst as part of the recruitment deal. 

Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; and Mark Deckett, Resident Agent in Charge of the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright, Kristen A. Kearney, Stephen E. Frank and Karin M. Bell of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Component(s): 
Updated September 2, 2020