Maryland CEO paid former fencing coach $1.5 million in bribes to get his sons accepted to Harvard, feds say - CNN
A Maryland businessman paid Harvard University's former fencing coach（击剑教练） at least $1.5 million in bribes（贿赂）, including payments for a car and a house in the suburbs（郊区）, to get his sons admitted to the Ivy League school（让自己儿子进入常春藤学校）, federal prosecutors（检察官） said in a criminal complaint（刑事起诉书） released Monday.
Jie "Jack" Zhao, 61, and Peter Brand, 67, were arrested Monday and charged（被指控） with conspiracy（密谋） to commit federal programs bribery（贿赂） for the alleged agreement, the US Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts said.
Zhao, of Potomac, Maryland, is the CEO of telecom company（电信公司） iTalk Global Communications. He was scheduled to（原定） appear Monday in federal court（出庭） in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Brand was Harvard's men's and women's fencing coach from 1999 until last year, when he was fired by the university following an investigation（调查） spurred（推动） by reporting from The Boston Globe on his suspiciously（可疑地） expensive house sale. He will appear in federal court in Boston on Monday afternoon.
Attorney Douglas Brooks, who represents（代表/代理） Brand, told CNN his client（客户） "did nothing wrong（没做错什么）." When Brand was fired in 2019, Brooks also said Brand had done nothing wrong.
"The students were academic and fencing stars（学霸及击剑天才）. Coach Brand did nothing wrong in connection with their admission to Harvard. He looks forward to（期待） the truth coming out in court," Brooks said in an emailed statement to CNN Monday night.
The arrests（逮捕） are just the latest salvo in the sprawling（日益蔓延的/扩大的） college admissions scam（大学招生丑闻）, first revealed in March 2019, in which rich parents of college applicants（申请者） used their wealth to cheat on（在......方面作弊） standardized tests（标准化考试）, bribe（贿赂） sports coaches（体育教练） and lie about（隐瞒） the payments.
"This case is part of our long-standing（长期的） effort to expose（曝光） and deter（震慑） corruption（腐败） in college admissions（大学招生）," said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. "Millions of teenagers strive for（努力） college admission every year. We will do our part to make that playing field as level as we possibly can（尽最大努力保证公平）."
An attorney（律师） for Zhao denied the charges（否认该指控） in an email on Monday.
"Jack Zhao's children were academic stars in high school and internationally competitive（实力派） fencers who obtained admission to Harvard on their own merit（凭自身实力）," attorney Bill Weinreb said in a statement. "Both of them fenced for Harvard at the Division One level throughout their college careers. Mr. Zhao adamantly denies（坚决否认） these charges and will vigorously（奋力） contest（争辩） them in court."
The conspiracy（密谋/阴谋） charge comes with a possible sentence（审判） of up to five years in prison. Other parents who were charged with similar counts and pleaded guilty（被判有罪）, such as actress（女演员） Lori Loughlin, have generally been sentenced to several months in prison（被判监狱服刑数月）.
Students from poor background such as rural areas often find it difficult to access to university education, so people think universities should make it especially easy for them to study at. Do you agree or disagree?