Bill McGlashan, the former TPG executive fired after being implicated in a US college admissions scandal, “intends to vigorously contest” the federal charges issued against him, according to a legal filing on Wednesday.
Mr McGlashan is accused of paying $50,000 to have someone doctor his son’s university entrance exam. His lawyers say the child, now 18, has been diagnosed with learning disabilities, receiving “academic accommodations” every year since 2015, and has withdrawn his application to study at the University of Southern California.
The private equity executive, who co-founded an ethical investment vehicle with U2 singer Bono, is one of the highest-profile business figures among a group of wealthy parents said to have paid tens of millions of dollars to help secure places for their children at elite US universities.
Wiretaps caught Mr McGlashan discussing how his son could be admitted to USC as a football recruit, despite having no experience in the sport. A California-based university admissions consultant allegedly described how Mr McGlashan could get his son in via the “side door”, which would entail making a $250,000 payment and supplying photographs that could be doctored to “make [the son] a kicker/punter”.
“I love it,” Mr McGlashan replied, according to prosecutors, when the consultant finished laying out the scheme.
But his lawyers say he made no such payment. “Mr McGlashan did not pay for the use of a so-called ‘side door’ to obtain admission for his son at USC or any other college,” they wrote. “In fact, Mr McGlashan’s son has not even graduated high school, and he withdrew his college applications.”
Jim Coulter and Jon Winkelried, TPG co-chief executives, have told investors and employees that Mr McGlashan’s arrest had been “a shock and a blow to us”, and that they had learnt of the allegations only when the justice department made them public on March 12. They have hired outside counsel to establish “whether any other person or part of the firm has been tainted in any way” by the alleged misconduct.
Mr McGlashan left TPG two days after the scandal broke. Mr McGlashan told fellow directors he had resigned, but TPG said it had terminated him for cause.
In his court filing, Mr McGlashan requested the return of his passport so he can travel abroad on a “long-planned family trip” in April.