Law Schools

Law school donor wants his $7.5M back; suit claims Georgetown reneged on naming rights

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Georgetown University law campus. Photo by Kara Tershel
via Wikimedia Commons.

A 1978 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center who had legal troubles after graduation is seeking to recover $7.5 million in donations to the school.

Businessman Scott Ginsburg claims he is entitled to the money because law school officials reneged on a deal to name a fitness center after him, the Dallas Morning News reports at its Scoop Blog. TaxProf Blog noted the report.

Ginsburg made an initial $5 million donation in March 2000 in exchange for naming right, and contributed an additional $2.5 million in the years that followed, according to the federal suit, filed Monday in Dallas.

Ginsburg contends he had received assurances before entering into the agreement that a pending civil action by the Securities and Exchange Commission would not be a problem. Ginsburg lost the insider trading case at trial, a judge vacated the judgment, and a federal appeals court reversed (PDF) in 2004, reinstating a $1 million civil penalty.

The school’s dean had asked Ginsburg in 2002 to relinquish his naming rights, but he refused, the suit says. After his refusal, Georgetown officials continued to travel to Texas to solicit donations from Ginsburg and represented that the agreement for naming rights would be honored, according to complaint.

“In reliance on Georgetown’s false representations and manipulation,” the suit says, “Ginsburg donated a total of at least $7.5 million to Georgetown.” Any statute of limitations period has been tolled, the suit adds, “because Georgetown fraudulently concealed its true intentions.”

A Georgetown spokesperson contacted by the Scoop Blog refused to comment.

Updated at 1:22 p.m. to add a new photo.

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