Nine current or former college coaches are among the 50 people indicted in a nationwide college admissions scandal, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday in Boston.
Over the past 20 years, Singer and his team helped more than 90,000 adults and also guided high school and college students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees, The Key said.
The spotlight is on the actresses and wealthy parents, who are facing charges over an alleged college entrance exam cheating scandal, but there's a key player whose background has not been widely discussed.
Though Vandemoer stands accused of taking bribes in exchange for recommendations of two prospective students ($110,000 for one kid and $500,000 for his replacement), the school claims that neither stayed long at Stanford. Heinel was also charged Tuesday with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Huffman's husband, William H. Macy, is not.
William "Rick" Singer, 58, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court on Tuesday to charges including racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Since 2011, Singer has allegedly also been bribing coaches and university administrators to falsely designate applicants as potential athlete recruits or assign them other preferential designations that improve their chances of acceptance.
"I created a side door that would guarantee families would get in", Singer told the judge.
Federal prosecutors said the scheme had two major pieces.
"To facilitate the scam, Singer counseled parents to take their children to a therapist and get a letter saying that because of purported learning disabilities or other issues, the child needed additional time to complete the ACT or the Saturday".
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US attorney Andrew Lelling said the plot was set up to guarantee admissions to top colleges for students, in his words, "not on their merits, but through fraud".
"Authorities say parents would pay him a predetermined amount, with full knowledge of what they were doing".
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a press conference Tuesday that in other instances students faces were edited into photos of athletes.
It alleges that a third party took the ACT and SAT college entrance exams in place of students.
Lelling said Yale University's women's soccer coach took $400,000 to accept a student who did not even play soccer at a competitive level.
"For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected", Lelling said.
Other universities involved include Wake Forest University, Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego. The real victims, he said, are the "hard-working students who did everything they could" to get accepted into those schools, but "ended up being shut out because far less qualified students and their families bought their way in".