FBI agents executed warrants last month to seize up to $2.7 million from bank accounts controlled by six people charged in the college admissions scandal, including former USC and UCLA employees, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.
“Based on evidence gathered during the investigation, there is probably cause to believe that Defendants have commingled bribe money with untainted funds in order to facilitate money laundering … ,” FBI Special Agent Laura Smith wrote in a 13-page affidavit in support of the seizure warrants.
The warrants were issued under seal March 11, the day before the scandal became public when prosecutors announced charges against 50 people.
The bulk of the money referenced in the seizure warrants came from four accounts controlled by former Georgetown and Rhode Island tennis coach Gordon Ernst. He has pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Prosecutors alleged Ernst and the others charged were part of a nationwide scheme to bribe college administrators and coaches to admit prospective students as fake athletes.
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