College Admissions Bribery Scandal Still Unfolding… $6.5 Million Mystery Person Not Yet Identified

There’s been much in the news recently about the college admissions bribery scandal. The codename for the FBI investigation is Operation Varsity Blues.

I’m sure you’ve heard about this case. But if you haven’t been following the details, let us fill you in.

William Rick Singer is the admitted leader of the scheme. He’s a former college admissions counselor. The 58-year-old man is a Newport Beach, California resident.

Singer accepted more than $25 million from the parents of college applicants. It occurred between 2011 and 2018. They were for the purpose of bribing officials at 11 universities to admit those applicants.

At Least 50 People Involved

Some of the funds were used to fraudulently inflate student test scores. It’s unknown at this point how much of it Singer pocketed.

A few weeks ago, U.S. federal prosecutors uncovered this conspiracy. It involves at least 50 people.

Singer has already pled guilty to the accusations. That’s in exchange for supporting the FBI’s investigation to find co-conspirators.

Among those being investigated are prominent business people and well-known actors. Two firms are involved in the scheme, both owned by Singer. They are Key Worldwide Foundation and The Edge College & Career Network.

Admissions Test Cheating

Singer’s scheme was very detailed. He used two strategies to help parents get their children accepted by elite universities.

For one, he made it possible for those students to cheat on SAT and ACT college admissions tests.

The parents would give about $5,000 to have a psychologist declare their child had a learning disability. That would give the student advantages when taking the tests. Including extra time.

The same report was then used once the student had been admitted to the university. That would let the student gain other advantages from the school.

Imposters and Fake Athletes

There were other ways allowing students to cheat on their tests. One was inventing a reason for the student to take the test at a different site. There, the testing process could be more easily compromised.

In some cases, other people posed as students and took the tests in their place. Including a Harvard alumnus, who was given $10,000 per test.

Singer also arranged to have some students labeled as “athletic recruits.” He would fabricate their athletic activities and skills. This made some colleges admit students they otherwise would not have.

Athletic officials who took bribes include a men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas. And a woman’s soccer coach at Yale University. And an athletic director at the University of Southern California. Plus many others.

33 Parents Charged So Far

Singer said he helped approximately 800 “clients.” By obtaining admission letters for their children to attend elite schools. So far, 33 parents have been charged.

One of those parents was author and businesswoman Jane Buckingham. She submitted false paperwork saying her son had a learning disability. And gave $50,000 to one of Singer’s companies to get her son into USC.

Other targeted parents include actresses Lori Loughlin (Full House) and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives).

Business people were also involved. They include Gamal Aziz (former CEO of MGM Resorts International). As well as Douglas Hodge (former CEO of PIMCO). And Gordon Caplan (co-chairman of the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher).

8 Universities in Focus

USC officials responded to the situation. They are considering revoking the degrees given to students involved in the scheme.

Loughlin’s daughters were fraudulently admitted to USC. They said they were competitive rowing recruits, despite not being athletes.

Eight institutions of higher learning have been contacted by the U.S. Education Department regarding this scandal.

Schools found to have committed “substantial misrepresentation” could have problems. They could have their access to federal student aid limited or revoked.

$6.5 Million From One Person?

Another person involved in this case has not had his or her name revealed yet. But many people would like to know who it is.

That’s because this person allegedly gave Singer $6.5 million for his services.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, Massachusetts said the name is not being made public.

The amount of funds are by far the largest associated with the case. This has created much speculation regarding who gave it.

What do you think?

There will be more announcements about this case coming. I’ll let you know if and when something major happens.

In the meantime, I would love to know how you feel about this scandal. Do you think there’s always been a back door for the rich? Should the student’s accused be forced to revoke their degrees?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

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