On Tuesday, prosecutors revealed that several celebrities, CEOs, and other wealthy folk participated in a multi-million-dollar bribery plot to get their children accepted into prestigious colleges across the country. The story, which shocked and angered many, is still unfolding, but we’ve already started to learn a little bit about the parents involved, such as actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Hoffman, and how they manipulated the system, with the help of the Edge College & Career Network, aka The Key. One story currently making the rounds is that of Isabelle Henriquez, a student at Georgetown University. While it seems many students were unaware of the lengths their parents went to get them accepted into universities, it appears as though Isabelle actively participated in the scheme.
Isabelle is the Dominican-American daughter of Manuel and Elizabeth Henriquez – two people charged in the $25 million college scheme, according to the Daily Beast. A 204-page complaint alleges that Isabelle was in on the scheme starting when she was a high school student at a Catholic prep school. Reportedly, her parents paid The Key $25,000 so a “proctor” could sit with her when she took the SATs in October 2015. The Henriquezes flew the proctor into San Francisco so that he could sit in on the test, which was administered at Isabelle’s high school, Notre Dame High School, Belmont.
As the complaint states, “On or about October 3, 2015, CW-2 purported to proctor the exam for the daughter at her school…. Unbeknownst to the school, he sat side-by-side with the daughter during the exam and provided her with answers to the exam questions, and after the exam, he ‘gloated’ with Elizabeth Henriquez and her daughter about the fact that they had cheated and gotten away with it.”
Though her test score rose to 1900 – a 320-point improvement – the family reportedly took extra precaution to get Isabelle accepted into Georgetown. The Key also helped with this. Allegedly, the Henriquezes and The Key bribed Gordon Ernst, Georgetown’s head tennis coach, into making Isabelle a recruit for the team, even though she didn’t play the sport. Isabelle, who wrote a letter to Ernst where she said she had “been really successful this summer playing tennis around the country,” was also instructed to rewrite her college essay to discuss her passion for the sport. She said she played the sport three-to-four hours a day. In exchange for making her a tennis recruit, The Key paid Ernst $950,000.
After Isabelle was accepted into Georgetown, her parents then “donated” $400,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation. While Georgetown would not say whether Isabelle would be expelled, her parents, who could face up to five years in prison, have already seen some of the consequences. Manuel was arrested in New York on Tuesday and released on a $500,000 bail. He has also stepped down as CEO from Hercules Capital Inc., which saw its shares drop after Manuel’s arrest.