A Georgetown University undergraduate whose father pleaded guilty for his role in the national college admissions scandal is suing the university for allegedly depriving him of his due process rights, and to stop any potential discipline.
Adam Semprevivo, who recently finished his junior year at Georgetown, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Washington federal court, claiming the university has subjected him to an “arbitrary” and “capricious” disciplinary process as it weighs possible punishment for him. The suit seeks damages in addition to injunctive relief.
“Georgetown has failed to conduct disciplinary proceedings in this case that comply with any notions of fundamental fairness,” the complaint said.
Semprevivo’s attorney, David Kenner of California’s Kenner & Greenfield, said Wednesday that he and other lawyers have offered to have Semprevivo withdraw from the school if he can keep his academic credits intact. University in-house lawyer Adam Adler declined that offer on Tuesday while an investigation surrounding Semprevivo’s admission is ongoing.
Kenner said the aim of Wednesday’s lawsuit is “to get Georgetown to understand that [Semprevivo is] entitled to the credits he had in the three years he’s gone there, and paid tuition for” when Georgetown was “on notice” about the circumstances of Semprevivo’s admission in 2017.
In a copy of Caplan’s plea deal, Caplan and prosecutors agree that his guidelines offense level is 11, which translates to a recommended term of eight to 14 months in prison for someone with no criminal history.
Semprevivo’s father, California businessman Stephen Semprevivo, is one of the defendants in the national college admissions prosecution that’s ensnared wealthy parents and celebrities who allegedly paid an admissions consultant to secure their children’s entry to top-tier schools.
Semprevivo pleaded guilty this month to conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, admitting he paid consultant Rick Singer $400,000 to help get his son into Georgetown. Singer allegedly paid former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who helped Semprevivo get admitted to the school by branding him as a tennis recruit.
Georgetown first notified Adam Semprevivo that it began an investigation related to his admission in April, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims Georgetown was likely aware, or should have been aware, of the inconsistencies in Semprevivo’s admission in 2017.
The complaint says Georgetown committed a breach of contract with Semprevivo when it subjected him to a disciplinary proceeding that fell outside of the school’s codified set of rules and procedures for dealing with violations of the school’s honor system.
“Georgetown has flagrantly violated, and continues to violate, its own [Honor Council System Procedures] in relation to its investigation of Semprevivo,” the complaint said. “Virtually all aspects of the disciplinary procedures were ignored by Georgetown — despite Semprevivo calling attention to the violations throughout all phases of this process.”
Semprevivo’s complaint against Georgetown claims he first learned about the allegations against his father in the February indictment, and that Georgetown notified Semprevivo in April that it started an investigation in connection with his admission.
Semprevivo and his lawyer repeatedly raised concerns with the university about the way it was investigating him, including in an April letter Kenner addressed to Adam Adler, Georgetown’s in-house lawyer, complaining about the lack of standards or criteria for resolution.
In addition to Kenner, Semprevivo is represented by Washington-based lawyer Mark Zaid and two Fort Lauderdale-based attorneys, Alvin and Joshua Entin from the Entin Law Group.
Neither Adler nor Georgetown’s communications office immediately returned requests for comment on Tuesday.