March 12, 2019
Former Penn men’s basketball coach Jerome Allen testified during a federal criminal trial last week that he accepted about $300,000 in bribes to help a businessman’s son gain entry to the school.
Allen, a Philadelphia native, plead guilty this past October to accepting an $18,000 bribe from Philip Esformes, the businessman and parent in question.
The much higher total, though, was disclosed during a recent Medicare and Medicaid fraud case involving Esformes, who is involved in nursing homes in Miami, according to ESPN.
Allen testified he’d set up a separate bank account for Esformes to wire him money, according to ESPN. Allen also said Penn assistant coach Ira Bowman, currently with Auburn, had knowledge of the bribes and had access to the funds through a debit card connected to the bank account.
Esformes paid Allen to help his son gain admission to Penn by making him a “listed recruit” to admissions officers. Penn, like other Ivy League schools, doesn’t award traditional scholarships to athletes.
Back in October, Allen said he’d “failed on so many levels” and said he didn’t “live up to the high standards [he] set for [himself].”
Allen was ordered to repay the $18,000 in bribes and pay a $200,000 fine in October.
Allen was Penn’s head coach from 2009 to 2015, when he resigned after three straight losing seasons. He is currently an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.