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Wealthy parents bribe their kids in to elite colleges using athletic teams



  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 12

    Rowing is eat up with old dirty money.

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The fact that he has already pled guilty is bad news for the OTHER defendants named in the complaint.

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The following defendants were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud:

    Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, and his wife, Marcia Abbott 59. He is founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a food and beverage packaging company.

    Gamal “Aziz” Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, former president and executive director of Wynn Macau resort.

    Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, an executive at retail merchandising firm.

    Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, an entrepreneur and investor.

    Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., CEO of a boutique marketing company Trendera, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

    Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., co-chairman of Willkie Farr, which says it has 700 lawyers in 10 offices in six countries.

    I-Hin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, Calif., operates a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry.

    Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, Calif.

    Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, Calif.

    Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., founder and CEO of real estate development firm Crown Realty & Development.

    Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, fashion designer.

    Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.

    Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, Calif., founder, chairman and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital.

    Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., former CEO of Pimco investment management company.

    Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, actress.

    Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, owner of a family wine vineyard in Napa Valley.

    Bruce Isackson, 61, of Hillsborough, Calif., president of a real estate development firm.

    Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif.

    Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, Calif., former executive of a large food manufacturer.

    Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, owner and president of a media company.

    Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., co-owner of jewelry business.

    Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, actress.

    Toby MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, Calif., former senior executive at a title insurance company.

    William McGlashan Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, Calif., senior executive at TPG private equity firm.

    Marci Palatella, 63, of Healdsburg, Calif., CEO of a liquor distribution company.

    Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., packaged food entrepreneur.

    Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, executive at privately held provider of outsourced sales teams.

    Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, founder and CEO of provider of drinking and wastewater systems.

    John Wilson, 59, of Hyannis Port, Mass., founder and CEO of private equity and real estate development firm.

    Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, Calif., an associate professor of dentistry.

    Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, founder and CEO of Dragon Global.

    In addition:

    William Rick Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was charged in an information with racketeering conspiracy and money laundering.

    Mark Riddell, 36, of Palmetto, Fla., was charged in an information with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, of Madison, Conn., former head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, was charged in an information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

    John Vandemoer, 41, of Stanford, Calif., the former sailing coach at Stanford University, was charged in an information with racketeering conspiracy.

    David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, was charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sidoo was arrested on Friday in San Jose, California, and appeared in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday. A date for his initial appearance in federal court in Boston has not been scheduled.

    The following people were charged with racketeering conspiracy:

    Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., director of a private elementary and high school in Los Angeles and a test administrator for the College Board and ACT.

    Gordon Ernst, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University.

    William Ferguson, 48, of Winston-Salem, N.C., former women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University.

    Martin Fox, 62, of Houston, president of a private tennis academy in Houston.

    Donna Heinel, 57, of Long Beach, Calif., senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California.

    Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, Calif., former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California.

    Ali Khoroshahin, 49, of Fountain Valley, Calif., former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California.

    Steven Masera, 69, of Folsom, Calif., accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation.

    Jorge Salcedo, 46, of Los Angeles, former head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, Calif., employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation.

    Jovan Vavic, 57, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., former water polo coach at the University of Southern California.

    Niki Williams, 44, of Houston, assistant teacher at a Houston high school and test administrator for the College Board and ACT.

    The following defendant was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud:

    Michael Center, 54, of Austin, Texas, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin.


  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 3,106 mod

    Half of the number or the Barn's bagmen.....

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @AnotherDawg do you think the parents serve any time in prison?

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    (a) Depends on who the real target is. Securing the guilty plea and cooperation from the scam operator suggests the feds are going after someone else. I'm gonna guess it's the coaches and school administrators rather than the parents. (The US Attorneys have said they're not going after the schools "for now" but that would be the end game if they can get some of those employees to talk.)

    (b) Also, with the parents, it's case by case. Huffman (merely) paid $15k to improve her daughter's SAT score. Loughlin paid $500k and helped create a fake resume to ensure admission of her daughters to USC. Apples and oranges.

  • RPMdawgRPMdawg Posts: 2,141 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I have made a mistake. Sorry guys. Lori is on the Hallmark channel. Thanks . Told you I didnt really watch Lifetime.

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @YaleDawg Also, I don't know that this stuff impacts the actresses long term since anything goes (and people do much worse every day) in Hollywood. But those corporate CEO's and hedge fund chairmen are in trouble. Jobs will be lost. I think one of the funds was down 9% today on the news.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @AnotherDawg that would be pretty disappointing if an administrator was accepting bribes. It would also be pretty difficult for one person in an administration to get someone accepted with all the layers of bureaucracy schools have.

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @YaleDawg Yes, I agree. The most egregious case so far appears to be the Yale women's soccer coach who apparently received $866,000 over the years to cooperate with the scheme. No evidence to suggest culpability extends to the athletic department or the admissions office, much less the administration.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 12

    Read, son. Read what is alleged.

    “Singer used the purported charitable donations from parents, at least in part, to bribe two SAT and ACT test administrators," court documents stated.”

    The guy set up a sham charity to benefit himself and others, not unlike something we’ve seen with recent political figures. APPLES 2 APPLES, sir.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    It seems coaches are the weak links when it comes to gaming the admissions office. Yale made an announcement they were cooperating with the Feds and it was just the one coach who was involved and they are trying to prevent it from happening again. I sure hope she was the only one

  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I hope so too. One rotten apple. And if I understand correctly, Yale terminated the coach (he was a he, BTW) back in November, presumably as soon as the feds had completed their investigation on that front.

  • pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 4,140 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    No. What’s the crime? USing influence to gain the opportunity to spend money on tuition, room and board? Seriously, they are bribing someone for the opportunity to spend money on a private college for their kid. Bribing someone for the opportunity to spend more money. How does this make sense? Doens’t sound illegal to me. Unethical, maybe. Illegal, not sure.

  • orlandoorlando Posts: 1,499 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If I’m not mistaken it was people getting paid to take act and sat test for the kids, photoshopping pics on the students profile and submitting other false information. I’m sure there’s more but doing that for profit is illegal.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Orlando. I'm thinking if it's gone that far, it's probably gone further. For the scheme to be successful they'd need to secure passing grades for their not so bright off spring. That would take layers of accomplices from professors to record keepers.

  • orlandoorlando Posts: 1,499 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Agree, much further. Next few days will be interesting.

  • greshamdiscogreshamdisco Posts: 1,551 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I have a confession to make. My law degree from Yale is fake. I got it by pretending to be on their women’s fencing team. I’m neither a woman or fencer, but we wore masks, so no one ever knew. (I am married to a woman and have a fence around my house though, but I can no longer justify my lies.) My other doctorates from Stanford, Oxford, Harvard, and Princeton are legit though. So, hit me up if you need spinal surgery, have questions about Egyptian archeology, need a bridge built, or need a financial portfolio manager.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 12

    @Bankwalker you can't keep anything straight. You say parents are bribing the school with donations. I correct you and say it had nothing to do with the school outside of a few coaches and was mostly faking test scores. You then say I'm wrong and repeat what I told you. It also wasn't a charity. It was a business that operated a fake charity as a vehicle for some of the bribes.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 12

    pg. I think you're missing the point. There are limited spaces at elite schools. When they bribe a spot away, they are stealing it from more deserving candidates.

    A free market is dependent on a system of meritocracy to flourish.

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