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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

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.

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