Nov. 16 (UPI) — An ex-Harvard fencing coach and a Maryland govt had been arrested Monday in an alleged $1.5 million bribing scheme associated to college admission.

Federal authorities recognized telecommunications govt Jie “Jack” Zhao, 61, and former fencing coach Peter Model, 67, because the pair charged within the alleged scheme to confess Zhao’s two sons to the college.

After a Boston Globe report confirmed final yr transactions between Zhao and Model, Harvard fired Model, citing conflicts of curiosity that violated the varsity’s insurance policies.

The transactions included then-fencing coach Model promoting his home to Zhao for almost $1 million in 2016 when its assessed worth was solely $549,300. Zhao’s youthful son later was admitted to Harvard and joined the fencing crew. Zhao offered the home 17 months later, taking a $324,500 loss.

Zhao advised the Globe that the home deal was a favor for a pal, not a bribe to get his son into Harvard, and that he didn’t grow to be pals with Model till his older son’s freshman yr.

“I need to assist Peter Model as a result of I really feel so sorry he has to journey a lot to go to fencing follow,” Zhao mentioned on the time relating to the house sale.

Zhao additionally allegedly paid off Model’s automobile mortgage and utility payments and funneled cash to Model by way of a charity.

The case was introduced by the identical federal prosecutor’s workplace that discovered about “Operation Varsity Blues,” centering round mastermind William “Rick” Singer, the place prosecutors have charged greater than 50 individuals, together with actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Dad and mom allegedly used their wealth to bribe individuals to get their youngsters into prestigious faculties.

Nevertheless, the Harvard deal will not be a part of “Operation Varsity Blues,” and there was no indication that Singer was concerned.

The previous fencing coach had been overspending for a number of years earlier than the home sale, his spouse mentioned in courtroom paperwork, alleging the scheme started in 2012 once they couple had been beneath monetary pressure.

“[Zhao’s] boys do not need to be nice fencers,” Model allegedly advised a cooperating witness in Could 2012. “All I would like is an efficient incentive to recruit them. You possibly can inform him that.”