(CNN)Harvard University is investigating it’s head fencing educate amid allegations he carried out a real estate transaction that concerned the family of a present day and a former student-athlete, the faculty introduced Thursday.
In 2016, Coach Peter Brand bought his home in Needham, Massachusetts, for almost twice what a tax document stated it was well worth. Now, Harvard is carrying out an impartial assessment of that transaction.
Jie Zhao sold Brand’s home for $989,500, consistent with the deed. At the time, he had a son at the Harvard fencing group and one in excessive faculty, The Boston Globe mentioned.
However, a municipal lien certificate suggests the house was well worth just beneath $550,000. Zhao sold the property approximately 17 months later at a lack of over $300,000.
Following the sale of his home in Needham, Brand purchased an apartment in Cambridge.
Documents acquired by way of CNN show the Cambridge belongings were at the start indexed for $989,000 – only $500 less than what Zhao paid for Brand’s Needham home. Brand bought the Cambridge rental for about $300,000 over the asking rate.
Gary J. Vrotsos, the listing agent for the assets in Cambridge, instructed CNN that this become not an unusual prevalence. “When the market’s sturdy people installed offers over the asking fee,” Vrotsos said.
Brand turned into appointed as Harvard’s head fencing instruct in 1999, shifting from a position at Brown University. He emigrated from Israel to the United States as a teen and has coached the Harvard crew to unparalleled success, in line with Harvard’s internet site.
“Harvard’s upward thrust to the top of intercollegiate fencing has been nothing brief of meteoric considering Brand has been at the helm of the program,” his Harvard profile reads.
In interviews with the Boston Globe, Zhao has denied something uncommon approximately his belongings purchase and insisted that he offered the assets as an investment and as a want for his friend, the coach.
According to the Globe, Zhao has two sons, one who became admitted to Harvard as a fencer in 2017. The different son, additionally a fencer consistent with the Globe, graduated in 2018.
Zhao has not replied to CNN’s smartphone calls inquiring for comment. Calls to telephone numbers listed for Brand did no longer go through, and he has now not responded to CNN’s electronic mail requests for remark.
Harvard stated it changed into first made aware of the connection and real estate transactions via The Boston Globe’s reporting. In a letter to the College of Arts and Sciences network Thursday, Dean Claudine Gay stated “there are lots we still don’t know” but that the allegation does no longer look like linked to the national university admissions cheating scheme being investigated by way of federal prosecutors in Massachusetts.
The scandal has caused federal crook fees in opposition to 50 people and left the nation taken aback at the lengths to which rich dad and mom will go to get their kids into elite schools.
“Regardless of what we eventually learn about those allegations, this is not a time for complacency,” Gay stated in her declaration, “Where there are opportunities to do clear practices and give a boost to processes, we should act on them, and accomplish that with a sense of urgency.”