College Admissions Scandal: Rick Singer Convicted


The mastermind of the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal will be sentenced on Wednesday after helping authorities defend the convictions of a series of wealthy parents involved in a scheme to cheat the admissions process. selected at his top schools.

Federal prosecutors are asking for six years in prison for Rick Singer, who for more than a decade helped wealthy parents get their often undeserving kids into select schools. national best with fake test scores and sports credentials.

The scandal has confounded elite colleges across the country, highlights a secretive admissions system seen as a fraud in favor of the rich and exposes measures some parents will take. to put their children in the school of their choice.

Singer, 62, began secretly cooperating with investigators and worked with the FBI to record hundreds of phone calls and meetings before arresting dozens of parents and sports coaches in March. 2019. More than 50 people – including famous TV actresses and celebrity entrepreneurs – were eventually convicted in what the authorities called Operation Varsity Blues.

In the nearly four years since the scandal broke into the headlines, Singer has remained out of prison and has mostly kept quiet in public. He has never been called by prosecutors to act as a witness in the cases coming to trial, but will have the opportunity to speak in court before a judge sentences him in Boston federal court.

In a letter to the judge, Singer blamed his actions on a “win at all costs” attitude, which he said was partly due to repressed childhood trauma. His attorney is asking for three years of probation, or if the judge thinks jail time is necessary, six months behind bars.

The singer wrote: “By putting aside what was morally, ethically and legally correct to win what I consider to be the college admissions ‘game,’ I lost everything.

The singer pleaded guilty in 2019 – the same day the major case went public – to charges including conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Dozens of others eventually pleaded guilty, while two parents were convicted at trial.

Authorities in Boston began investigating the scheme after an executive who came under surveillance for an unrelated securities fraud scheme told investigators that a Yale football coach suggested it. offered to help his daughter go to school in exchange for cash. The Yale coach led the authorities to see Singer, who collaborated to unravel the spreading scandal.

For years, Singer paid admissions administrators or proctors to inflate students’ test scores and bribe coaches to designate rookie candidates for sports that are sometimes overlooked. when they’re not even playing, in order to increase their chances of getting into school. According to prosecutors, Singer received more than $25 million from his clients, gave bribes totaling more than $7 million, and used more than $15 million of client funds for his own gain.

“He is the architect and mastermind of a criminal organization that has severely damaged the integrity of the college admissions process – which favors the rich and privileged – to an unprecedented degree. seen in this country,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

If the judge agrees with prosecutors, it will be the longest sentence handed down in the case. By far, the heaviest punishment went to former Georgetown University tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who received two and a half years in prison for bribery of more than $3 million.

Others caught up in the scandal include “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin, her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli and “American Housewives” star Felicity Huffman. Penalties for parents can range from probation to 15 months behind bars, although the parent receiving that prison sentence remains free while he appeals his sentence.

One parent, who has not been charged with working with Singer, is acquitted of all charges stemming from allegations that he bribed Ernst to get his daughter into school. And a judge ordered a new trial against former University of Southern California water polo player Jovan Vavic, who was found guilty of accepting bribes.


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