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Former Penn Coach Sentenced to Probation in Bribery Scandal


A former head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania received a probationary sentence and more than $200,000 in fines for his participation in a college bribery case, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. district judge Kathleen Williams sentenced Jerome Allen, who currently works as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, to four years of probation, including six months of house arrest. The court has also ordered Allen to complete 600 hours of community service.

Allen was found guilty of taking at least $300,000 in bribes from Florida businessman Philip Esformes to get his son into Penn’s Wharton school.

“If there is any lesson here, you can’t pay your way in and you shouldn’t be able to pay your way out,” Williams said. “There is a debt owed — it’s more than just a reputational cost to you.”

Allen’s sentence is less than what Justice Department prosecutors originally sought. The prosecutors recommended a 45 percent reduction in the sentence and a prison term of four months because of his Allen’s involvement in a $1 billion Medicare fraud case against Esformes, who was convicted on 20 counts including money laundering and obstruction of justice in April, according to the Miami Herald.

Allen testified against Esformes in March, saying that he accepted bribes both in cash and wire transfers to get his son Morris Esformes into the Ivy league school by prioritizing him out of a list of five high school basketball recruits.

“I accepted the money to help Morris Esformes get into the school,” Allen said during the trial. “I got his son into Penn; I got his son into Wharton. None of that would have happened without me.”

Last month, a federal court sentenced Stanford University women’s sailing team coach John Vandemoer to one day in jail, six months of home confinement, two years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine for his involvement in Operation Varsity Blues, a national college admissions scandal.

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