Ex-UCLA coach Jorge Salcedo pleads guilty to accepting $200K in bribes
A former UCLA men’s soccer coach pleaded guilty Monday to accepting $200,000 in bribes to help two students get into the school as recruits.
Jorge Salcedo, 47, admitted to participating in the college admissions bribery scheme involving TV celebrities, other wealthy parents and elite universities across the country. He agreed in April to enter the guilty pleas.
Salcedo was paid $100,000 to help California couple Bruce and Davina Isackson get their daughter into UCLA as a bogus soccer recruit, prosecutors said. The Isacksons have also pleaded guilty and have been cooperating with authorities in the hope of getting a lighter sentence.
A Northern California couple who secured their daughters’ spots at UCLA and USC with bribes and rigged tests pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud and money laundering offenses, the first parents to admit their guilt before a judge in an investigation that has sent shivers through circles of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood and some of the country’s most elite universities.
Salcedo also took a $100,000 bribe from the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme, William “Rick” Singer, to “recruit” the son of Xiaoning Sui, of Surrey, Canada, to his team, authorities said. Singer and Sui have also pleaded guilty.
Salcedo pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in a hearing held in front of a Boston federal court judge via videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said she would decide whether to accept his plea deal at a later date after further review.
Xiaoning Sui was arrested by Spanish authorities Monday night and charged with paying William “Rick” Singer to ensure her son was admitted to UCLA.
He’s the sixth coach to plead guilty in the case. Three other coaches are fighting the charges.
The coaches were paid in exchange for labeling students as recruits for sports they didn’t play to help them get into the schools, authorities said. Other parents paid bribes to have someone cheat on their children’s college entrance exams.
Nearly 30 parents have pleaded guilty in the case, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Ex-UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, charged in the college admissions scandal, accused the school of using athlete admissions “as a vehicle to raise funds.”
They include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who admitted to paying $15,000 to have a Singer associate rig her daughter’s SAT score.
“Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, J. Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars to get their daughters admitted to USC.
The couple is scheduled to be sentenced in August. If the judge accepts their plea deals, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months behind bars and Giannulli will get five months.
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