NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyPalm Beach


Part-time Palm Beach resident charged in college admissions bribery scandal

Feds say Amin Khoury, 54, paid $200,000 to help daughter get into Georgetown
Gordon Ernst, former Georgetown tennis coach, in 2019
Posted at 1:53 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 19:17:37-04

BOSTON — Another wealthy parent has been charged with trying to bribe his child's way into an elite university as a fake athletic recruit.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Amin Khoury, 54, of Palm Beach, Florida, and Mashpee, Massachusetts, paid $200,000 to get former Georgetown University tennis coach Gordon Ernst to designate his daughter as a tennis recruit even though her tennis skills were insufficient for the school.

RELATED: Lori Loughlin agrees to plea deal in college admissions bribery scandal

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts, Khoury's daughter received a letter from Georgetown in December 2014 informing her that her admissions application was being reviewed at Ernst's request and that her acceptance was "likely."

In May 2015, after Khoury's daughter was formally accepted to Georgetown, Khoury flew to Massachusetts with $200,000 in cash and gave $180,000 of it to a third-party courier, who pocketed $20,000, the indictment alleges.

The third-party courier then met Ernst's wife and gave her $170,000 in cash, keeping $10,000 of it as an additional fee, prosecutors said.

Ernst thereafter pursued Khoury to collect the remaining $20,000 owed to the coach as part of the recruitment deal, prosecutors alleged.

The charges against Khoury came a day after Ernst and former University of Southern California water polo coach Jovan Vavic were charged with additional offenses related the Operations Varsity Blues investigation.

They had previously pleaded not guilty.

An attorney representing Khoury issued this statement to WPTV in response to the indictment:

"This indictment differs significantly from the so-called Varsity Blues case. Amin C. Khoury had nothing whatsoever to do with Rick Singer. There was no test or class cheating. His child’s college application was completely accurate and contained no misrepresentations about being a fake athlete or anything else. We look forward to this process to rebut the government’s claims."
- Eóin Beirne - Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.