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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Former La Jolla TV executive convicted of bribery at USC admissions office

SAN DIEGO. The former La Jolla media executive, who paid more than $ 500,000 to enroll his children in prestigious universities as part of a widespread college bribery scandal, was sentenced on December 9 to six weeks in prison plus one year of home imprisonment.

Elizabeth Kimmel pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal conspiracy to commit mail and telegraph fraud and received an agreed verdict following a plea deal.

According to court records, by January 12, she was ordered to surrender to begin her sentence. In addition to detention, Kimmel will be sentenced to two years of supervised imprisonment, half of which includes house arrest, and will receive a $ 250,000 fine.

Kimmel previously owned KFMB in San Diego until the station was sold to Tegne in 2018.

Kimmel college admission scandal
Elizabeth Kimmel, former owner and president of Midwest Television accused of college admissions fraud, arrives at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, March 29, 2019. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)

Prosecutors said Kimmel paid $ 275,000 to get her daughter into Georgetown University and $ 250,000 to help her son get into the University of Southern California (USC). In both cases, her children were falsely admitted to schools as sports recruits.

Prosecutors allege that Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst arranged for Kimmel’s daughter to enroll in tennis, even though she did not play for the tennis team in any of her four years at university. According to the prosecution’s memorandum, her daughter’s other high school students were denied admission to school despite higher average grades and standardized test scores.

Kimmel’s son was accepted as a recruit in pole vaulting, and his statement described him as “one of the best pole vaulters in the state of California,” although there was no record in his high school that he ever took part in pole vaulting or athletics.

According to a complaint filed in 2019, Kimmel’s son clearly expressed confusion when an advisor in his orientation at USC asked him if he could take up athletics.

The prosecution documents say: “Despite his privileged upbringing, hundreds of millions of dollars in fortune and degrees from two of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, including a degree in law, the defendant has repeatedly violated the law. and
buy your kids opportunities they didn’t deserve. She knew better; but again and again she chose to deceive and lie. “

In the transcript of Kimmel’s verdict, her lawyers wrote that she “felt intense remorse” and “saddened by her involvement in this scandal and the damage it caused.”

The defense claims that the mastermind of the scheme, William “Rick” Singer, “distorted her thinking” and that Kimmel did not know all the details of the scheme, but “agreed with Singer’s fraudulent plan.”

The singer pleaded guilty at the beginning of 2019, but the verdict has not yet been passed. Ernst pleaded guilty in October and will be sentenced early next year.

City News Service

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