Who’s pleaded guilty in college admissions scam? Rich parents. Coaches. A Golden Globe winner.
Here is a rundown of those who have pleaded guilty:
William “Rick” Singer | mastermind
The self-described “master coach” is the mastermind of the college admissions scandal, prosecutors say.
He warned parents that in the scramble for a spot at an elite university, their children would hardly stand out without his help. He spoke of a “side door” to top schools he could wrench open to the “wealthiest families in the U.S.” He promised their children nothing short of “a life of success.”
Singer was paid $25 million by parents who, believing their children lacked the grades and test scores to get into elite universities, turned to the reputed college admissions guru who bragged of helping shuttle more than 700 students a year into top schools through “the side door,” according to prosecutors.
Singer, 58, pleaded guilty in Boston to charges of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Felicity Huffman | parent
The “Desperate Housewives” actress and Golden Globe winner pleaded guilty in a Boston courtroom Monday to a fraud conspiracy charge that has sent the actress’ reputation and career prospects tumbling.
Huffman, 56, admitted to paying Singer $15,000 to inflate her daughter’s SAT score. She will be sentenced Sept. 13.
In a mea culpa a month earlier, Huffman said she would not contest the government’s allegations and apologized to the public and her friends, family and daughter, who Huffman said knew nothing of the test-fixing scheme.
John Vandemoer | coach
Stanford University’s former sailing coach, Vandemoer pleaded guilty to a charge of racketeering conspiracy and admitted in federal court to conspiring with Singer to slip the children of his clients into the elite university.
Rudy Meredith | coach
Meredith was the former Yale women’s soccer coach. He admitted pocketing bribes from parents and pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy.
Prosecutors allege that between 2015 and 2018, Singer paid Meredith $860,000 to designate the children of his clients as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic ability. Meredith was caught in an FBI sting after a father, whose daughter Meredith agreed to recruit in exchange for a bribe, learned he was being investigated for securities fraud and agreed to cooperate with the government, according to court records.
Mark Riddell | test taker
Riddell, a resident of Palmetto, Fla., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He will be sentenced July 18.
Riddell, prosecutors said, was Singer’s expert test taker. He would fly from his Florida home to testing centers in Vancouver, Canada; Houston; and West Hollywood. He ensured the children of Singer’s clients received whatever score on the SAT or ACT their parents desired, prosecutors say.
Among the tests Riddell fixed was an SAT taken by Huffman’s daughter, prosecutors say.
Bruce and Davina Isackson | parents
The Northern California couple were accused of securing their daughters’ spots at UCLA and USC with bribes and rigged tests.
Davina Isackson pleaded guilty to one count of fraud conspiracy. Her husband, real estate developer Bruce Isackson, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud conspiracy, one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. They will be sentenced July 31.
Devin Sloane | parent
The founder and CEO of a water systems company in Los Angeles, Sloane conspired with Singer to bribe a senior administrator at USC to admit his son to the school as a recruited water polo player. Sloane’s son did not play water polo competitively, but Sloane purchased a water polo ball and cap from Amazon in 2017 and worked with a graphic designer to Photoshop his son’s face and torso onto an image of a water polo match, according to the affidavit. He pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge.
Laura Janke | coach
Janke, 36, admitted conspiring with Singer to slip the children of wealthy and powerful families through what the Newport Beach college admissions consultant dubbed the “side door.”
The former USC women’s soccer coach crafted scores of bogus athletic profiles, littered with fake accolades and Photoshopped images purporting to show the children of Singer’s clients playing sports they did not play, which Singer used to ensure they were admitted to elite schools as student-athletes.
Janke was arrested March 12 after the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts unsealed an indictment charging her and 11 others with conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Stephen Semprevivo | parent
The Los Angeles executive was accused of paying $400,000 to secure his son’s spot at Georgetown as a tennis recruit.
Semprevivo, 53, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and honest services mail fraud in a Boston courtroom as part of a deal with federal prosecutors. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 18 months in prison, a fine of $95,000 and a year of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11.
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