Law and order
Entrepreneur Scott Ginsburg alleges fraud in $7.5 million suit against Georgetown University
Dallas businessman Scott Ginsburg is suing Georgetown University, his alma mater, for breach of contract and fraud. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on March 4, Ginsburg says he donated $7.5 million in exchange for naming rights to a law school recreation center.
But 13 years later, the Scott K. Ginsburg Sport & Fitness Center is still a pipe dream.
According to the suit, Georgetown approached Ginsburg in 2000 about funding a new on-campus fitness center. At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Ginsburg for insider trading.
In 2002, Georgetown asked Ginsburg to relinquish his naming rights to the fitness center. He refused.
The former radio exec claims he disclosed the legal issue to Georgetown prior to signing an agreement to donate $5 million for the construction of a recreation center bearing his name on March 30, 2000.
In a press release announcing the facility, Ginsburg said he hoped his gift would "inspire other alumni to support the Law Center." It's safe to say his feelings have changed.
In 2002, Ginsburg was found guilty of insider trading in a landmark case. He failed to successfully appeal the ruling.
That same year, Georgetown attempted to get Ginsburg to relinquish his naming rights to the fitness center. Ginsburg refused that request, but he did continue to placate the university's desire for cash.
Although his initial donation was $5 million, Ginsburg was ultimately convinced to fork over around $7.5 million to cover the center's "operational costs." Payments continued through 2010, the lawsuit claims.
All the while, Ginsburg maintains, his naming rights to the facility remained firmly intact. Georgetown president John DeGioia and Alex Aleinikoff, dean of the law center, were frequent visitors to Ginsburg's Dallas home, even bringing Georgetown baby clothes to celebrate the birth of his son.
But the glad-handing came to an end in February 2013, when DeGioia allegedly told Ginsburg that he did "not have any recollection" of a commitment to name the center after him.
Ginsburg's attorney says Georgetown used the 13-year gap to ply his client for more money and never intended to honor the 2000 contract.
"Georgetown fraudulently concealed its true intentions," the suit reads.
In addition to recouping his $7.5 million donation with interest, Ginsburg is suing for attorney's fees.