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Feds: Man bribed coach to get son Ivy entry

Feds: Man bribed coach to get son Ivy entry

Federal authorities say a Florida businessman already charged with orchestrating a massive Medicare fraud scheme bribed a former university basketball coach to help get his son admitted to an Ivy League university.

Prosecutors allege the payments were intended to help the son of nursing home owner Philip Esformes, who is accused of filing false Medicare and Medicaid claims. The Miami Herald initially reported the new charges.

Howard Srebnick, an attorney for Esformes, said his client will plead not guilty.

The indictment released Friday did not name the university or coach. But Srebnick said prosecutors disclosed in court that Boston Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen received the payments while he was the head coach at Pennsylvania. Allen has not been charged.

According to the indictment, Esformes paid $53,000 in bribes to the coach to have his son identified as a “recruiting basketball player” to help his admission. The son never played for the basketball team.

Both the Celtics and the university declined to comment Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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