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Father of college student convicted of bribery in admissions scandal

The father of a Georgetown University student was recently sentenced to 4 months in jail for bribing his son’s way into school. Stephen Semprevivo, 53, who was charged with fraud and conspiracy, pleaded guilty in May. 

Semprevivo, a tech entrepreneur, is the third parent to be sentenced in such a case, and one of dozens of wealthy parents to be involved in an admissions scandal like this. Semprevivo paid admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer $400,000 to have his son admitted into Georgetown University. 

“I’m fully responsible and take full responsibility for my actions, and feel I should be punished,” Semprevivo told the judge. 

While Semprevivo did take the full blame for his mistakes, he didn’t shy away from recognizing Rick Singer as an accomplice. Semprevivo feels that he was taken advantage of by Singer, and that Singer “worked [him] over.” 

According to prosecutors, Semprevivo showed a “disturbing lack of remorse” when he portrayed himself as a victim. They determined that he needed prison time not only because the amount of his bribe was very high, but also because he involved his son in the entire debacle. 

Semprevivo had attempted to smuggle his son into school as a tennis recruit, despite the fact that his son had never played competitive tennis.

In addition to his prison sentence, Semprevivo also received 500 hours of community service, two years of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. His sentence was cut down to 4 months, after the prosecutors initially were intent on giving him 13 months. 

The main reason for Semprevivo’s actions, he told the judge, was his son. In a letter on Aug. 17, Semprevivo mentioned he was driven by foolish ambition for his son to be happy. He mentioned that his son has worked hard for his future and that he wanted to do everything in his power to make sure that his son achieved his goals. 

Semprevivo is not the first wealthy parent to be involved in an admissions scandal; fifteen other parents have pleaded guilty in the scheme, and nineteen more are facing charges.

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