Few students have been called out as complicit in ‘Operation Varsity Blues,’ the big scandal with big names and bigger money.
A bribery and cheating scheme to benefit college-hopeful students, sons, and daughters of the wealthy that could otherwise not make the grade to get into Ivy League and top-tier schools.
In the charging documents, hundreds of pages thick, it’s repeated that the students themselves were unaware of their parents’ schemes. Save one, apparently, who is reported by feds to have “gloated” about cheating on her SATs with the help of a pricey “proctor” from Tampa who sat beside her and supplied answers to take her previous score of around 1600 to 1900.
Isabelle Henriquez, now 20, was fully aware and participated in the cheating and fraud, as described in federal court documents. She is referred to as the eldest daughter of Elizabeth and Manuel of Hercules Technology Growth Capital are charged in $25 million-dollar scheme and facing up to five years in prison. It’s also being reported that the couple did the same for their other daughter. Manuel has stepped aside as CEO of the firm where his compensation was nearly $9 million in 2017.
Following his arrest, he walked out of jail on $500,000 bond.
Isabelle, who goes by ‘Izzy,’ won’t do time, but could be booted from Georgetown because not only did she cheat on her SATs and boast about it, feds allege, but her parents allegedly paid former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst, also charged in the massive cheating and bribery scandal, a nearly $1 million bribe to sign off on her faked application that falsely stated she’d played tennis throughout high school and indeed, played on the club circuit nationally. She did not, the federal charging documents say.
Indeed, feds say that parents either paid for their kids to get higher SAT scores or bribed coaches to say they were being recruited for the school’s team.
Now a junior at Georgetown, here’s what you need to know about Izzy Henriquez:
1. The Federal Complaint Says Henriquez, Her Mother & the Person That Helped Her Cheat on the SAT ‘Gloated’ About ‘Getting Away’ With the Scheme
Izzy Henriquez not only knew what was up, but she was also a willing participant, according to federal documents. In the fall of 2015, a so-called proctor was flown in from Tampa, Florida to Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Calif., the all-girls private Catholic prep school to sit with her during her SATs and feed her the correct answers. Prosecutors say the school did not know what was going on.
“…unbeknownst to the school (the proctor) sat side-by-side” with the teen and “provided her with answers to the questions,” the charging document reads.
Then, “after the exam, (the proctor) ‘gloated’ with Elizabeth Henriquez and her daughter about the fact that they had cheated and gotten away with it,’ the complaint reads.
She scored more than 300 points higher than when she did the test on her own.
Izzy’s parents paid The Key Worldwide, the front for the scheme run by William ‘Rick’ Singer who has already pleaded guilty, $400,000 prosecutors say.
2. Former Georgetown Tennis Coach Gordon Ernst Was Allegedly Bribed by Henriquez’ Family to Recruit Izzy For the Tennis Team Knowing Her Application Was Fraudulent
According to the federal charging documents, Henriquez and his wife paid then-Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst nearly $1 million to say that Izzy was being recruited by the team, an open front door to admission.
Izzy wrote in her application that she played “club tennis” more than 20 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, the documents show. She did not.
Ernst was the longtime winning tennis coach at Georgetown until a sudden departure in August of 2018 when he returned to his home state of Rhode Island to be a head tennis coach at the University of Rhode Island for a substantially lower salary, it’s reported. In a press release at the time, he said he was ready to come home.
Tuesday, URI issued a statement that Ernst was put on administrative leave. It’s reported that leave is paid.
The Daily Beast reported that a rep at Georgetown said the university is “reviewing the details of the indictment and will be taking appropriate action.” Whether that leads to Henriquez’ expulsion may not be known as the school says it won’t discuss individual students per federal law.
3. Izzy Henriquez’ LinkedIn Showed an Impressive Curriculum Vitae of Accomplishments & Experiences. Not Anymore
Heavy was able to screenshot Izzy’s LinkedIn page before it was stripped Wednesday.
Henriquez is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Calif., an all-girls college prep Catholic high school, “home of the Tigers!”
Henriquez interned at Hercules Capital, her father’s company. She worked for investment bankers Compass Point Research and Trading. Her bio said she was slated to be a “summer wealth management analyst” at New York-based financial services company Jefferies.
4. A Junior at Georgetown, Henriquez is Promotions Officer for ‘Hoya Blue,’ Belongs to a Sorority & is President of Hoya Helpers
Once her parents allegedly bought her way into Georgetown, Izzy, now a junior, joined a sorority, was a dorm hall leader, joined Hoya Helpers and was nominated to be in charge of promotions for Hoya Blue.
“Hoya Blue is Georgetown’s official student spirit organization, dedicated to the support of Georgetown’s many sports teams and fostering a stronger sense of community among the University’s student body. We can be found at any Georgetown sporting event, faces fiercely painted, signs in hand, chanting and cheering at the top of our lungs and hocking Hoya gear at halftime. We organize tailgates, half-time competitions, raffles and road-trips to stir up excitement for Georgetown Athletics, and put on fundraisers to support local charities.”
As a sorority sister, she spent a year as “event chair” for Kappa Kappa Gamma. She noted she was chosen out of 140 young women to the post.
She has also done volunteer work for agencies helping children including Make-A-Wish, according to her bio.
5. Dominican-American, She’s a Spanish Major & Studied in Spain. Izzy Said She Achieved High Honors in High School & Similar at Georgetown
According to her now-scrubbed LinkedIn, Izzy said she achieved the highest academic honors while a student at Notre Dame prep school.
She said she spent a semester studying in Spain, though her LinkedIn reads she earned as BA while there. That could be an error.
There’s no indication she’s cheated while at Georgetown. Here’s an English paper she wrote.
And it’s still not known if she’ll be expelled.