First Busey board member accused in college-admissions scandal resigning

First Busey board member accused in college-admissions scandal resigning

CHAMPAIGN — Elisabeth Kimmel announced her resignation as a member of First Busey Corp.'s board Thursday, two days after she was charged by federal prosecutors in an alleged college-admissions conspiracy.

Authorities allege that Kimmel used her family's charity to bribe the tennis coach at Georgetown University to help her daughter get admitted in 2013.

She was one of 50 people charged by federal prosecutors Tuesday in the alleged conspiracy, in which wealthy businesspeople and celebrities are accused of donating to a phony foundation, which passed the money on to coaches at top universities around the country.

Kimmel joined First Busey's board in May 2018 and was the second-largest shareholder on the board, with 2.6 percent of the company's outstanding shares, according to a filing last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kimmel allegedly signed checks from the Meyer Charitable Foundation, which she is an officer for, to the Key Worldwide Foundation in 2013 totaling $275,000. Prosecutors allege that the Georgetown University tennis coach was paid $244,000 in the scheme.

Kimmel, who lives in both Las Vegas and a suburb of San Diego, according to the complaint, served on First Busey's board with her father, August "Chris" Meyer Jr. In a 2014 tax filing, he was listed as an officer in the Meyer Charitable Foundation, which listed an address in Champaign.

The Meyer family ran Midwest Television, which owned WCIA-TV until 1999 and last year completed the $325 million sale of its San Diego TV and radio stations.