Man ‘bribes’ sports coach to send son to Harvard

Man 'bribes' sports coach to send son to Harvard


WASHINGTON: Harvard University has said that it is looking into an allegation that one of its students was enrolled after his father bought the house belonging to the school’s fencing coach at a higher-than-market price.

Harvard said in a statement that it came to know of the case after local media broke the news and was “now undertaking an independent review of the matter”.

According to the allegations, Zhao Jie, a wealthy businessman from Montgomery County, Maryland, paid nearly a million US dollars for a house owned by Peter Brand, Harvard’s fencing coach, when the house was only valued at $549,300.

After Zhao made the purchase in May 2016, his son was accepted into Harvard University and became a member of its fencing team.

Zhao sold the house 17 months later for $665,000. He never lived in the house.

Zhao resigned from the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs after the allegations surfaced.

The allegation came after the US Justice Department busted an operation that funneled bribes from wealthy parents to school sports coaches or supervisors of standardized tests to ensure that their children enter prestigious universities.

The high-profile case, which involved Hollywood stars and top-tier universities such as Yale and Georgetown, brought the enrolment process of elite US universities under scrutiny.

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