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Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chris Schaepe is out at Lightspeed Venture Partners, after telling his partners about having hired college admissions "coach" Rick Singer to help his son.

The bottom line: Schaepe, who joined LSVP's predecessor firm in 1991, was not among the dozens of parents arrested earlier this month, and tells Axios in a statement that he did not knowingly participate in any bribery schemes.

Axios has learned that Schaepe originally hired Rick Singer to aid in the college admissions process for his son, who had been the manager for his high school's basketball and football teams.

  • The boy's goal was to help manage the men's basketball team at the University of Texas, but those plans got disrupted when coach Rick Barnes was fired in March 2015.
  • Singer then is said to have made an introduction to the UT men's tennis coach, Michael Center, who helped to get Schaepe's son a letter of intent to join the school.
  • A criminal complaint against Center, who has since been fired, suggests that the letter of intent was to play tennis, but that part is not quoted by prosecutors. Instead, a source suggests the plan was for Schaepe's son to manage the team.
  • Overall, Schaepe paid approximately $630,000 to Singer, via cash and stock donations to a nonprofit foundation Singer ran (which appears to have been a front). The complaint does not detail how much additional Schaepe gave Singer for his official college aid services.

Schaepe hired a lawyer after reading about Rick Singer's arrest and informed his partners at Lightspeed about the situation. He was subsequently asked to leave the firm.

Official statement from a Lightspeed spokesperson:

Lightspeed Partner Chris Schaepe recently made the firm aware of a personal matter. We determined to separate from Chris to ensure this matter does not interfere with firm operations. The matter does not involve the firm, its personnel or its portfolio companies.

Official statement from Chris Scheape's spokesperson:

"We are deeply disturbed that the person we had trusted to guide us through the college application process was engaged in inappropriate acts. Like countless other families, we believed that his services and his foundation were all above board, and we are shocked by his deception.”

Between the lines: Lightspeed was heavily criticized in 2017 over its response to allegations that one of its partners had sexually harassed several female entrepreneurs, prior to him leaving Lightspeed to form a new firm. Lightspeed may not have wanted to risk its reputation being damaged for a second time, even if it means firing a longtime, founding partner who has not been charged with a crime.

Go deeper: A parent's account of the college bribery scandal

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

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