Parents sue education consultant for $2 million after sons don't get into Harvard

Parents sue education consultant for $2 million after sons don't get into Harvard

People walk through Harvard Yard at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. (Lisa Poole/AP Photo)

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 10 at 3:11 PM

(ABCnews.com) -- A couple in Hong Kong is suing a Boston-area education consultant for the $2 million they say they paid him to get their two sons into top prep schools and, ultimately, an Ivy League university. The suit is seen by some as an example of an "arms race" in education.

Gerald and Lily Chow, citizens of Hong Kong, say they hired Mark Zimny and his company, IvyAdmit Consulting Associates in Cambridge, Mass. to help their two sons get into elite schools in the U.S.

"They decided in 2006 that their sons, First Son and Second Son, would benefit most by being educated in the top schools in the United States," says the lawsuit, first filed in 2010 with a U.S. district court in Massachusetts.

The Chows had determined that their "target university" was Harvard, the Boston Globe reported.

Their first son, then 15, graduated as a ninth grader from a junior boarding school in Deerfield, Mass. in June 2007.

The Chows say Zimny approached them at his graduation ceremony, claiming he was a professor at Harvard University, and that he could use his connections to help the sons get into New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges.

The lawsuit says that Zimny made a number of false claims, including that he was a professor at Harvard.

"Zimny was never a Harvard professor; he had briefly been a visiting assistant professor and a lecturer, but any faculty relationship with Harvard had ended by June 30, 2005, two years before he met the Chows, the suit says.

John Fitzpatrick, an attorney representing Zimny, refuted the allegations in the lawsuit.

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