Man Suing Educational Consultant Used the Same Services When at HKS

Gerald Chow, the jewelry magnate who is currently suing an educational consultant for misusing the $2 million he paid him to help get his sons into Ivy League Schools, called upon the tutoring services of the same firm for his own coursework at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2007 and 2008.

Chow has brought a suit against educational consultant Mark J. Zimny of IvyAdmit Consulting Associates, LLC, a former Harvard lecturer and visiting assistant professor, who Chow alleges owes him over $2 million. Chow and his wife, Lily, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts in April 2010 claiming that Zimny took the money from them while purporting to help their sons gain spots at premier U.S. colleges.

Chow earned a Master in Public Administration at HKS through a one-year program between 2007 and 2008.

Court documents submitted by the Chows’ attorney, Kevin W. Clancy, include invoices sent to the Chows by Zimny’s educational consulting company IvyAdmit. The invoices indicate that Jane E.T. Cassie, who received a masters from the Graduate School of Education in 2010 and was affiliated with IvyAdmit, tutored Chow extensively while at HKS.

The invoices detail the many hours Cassie spent with Chow reviewing readings, conducting research, and editing papers for his courses at HKS. Receipts also show that she purchased course material for him at the Coop and made copies for him at Staples on JFK St.

David J. Gorman, Cassie’s attorney, said that she was deposed by Zimny’s attorney last spring.

“In her deposition she says she spent hours with Mr. Chow going over books with him,” he said. “She said sometimes he completely missed the point. He was struggling with some of the material and she helped him.”

Gorman said that the assistance Cassie provided Chow was entirely appropriate and in fact supported by HKS, where over a third of all current students are international.

“There are a lot of foreign students that have these tutors,” he said. “I know it’s very commonplace.”

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