Liberal Democrats, too lazy and stupid to compete
scholastically. This is the result of the present day inferior
California school system, once the envy of the entire free
world, after 40 years of Democrat control and parasitic
socialist union infestation.
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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged 50 people in a brazen
scheme to secure spots at Yale, Stanford and other big-name
schools in what they called the “largest college admissions scam
ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.” They have accused
dozens of parents of paying millions of dollars in bribes to
help their children get into the schools.
For those catching up, or those overwhelmed by the volume of
news, here’s an overview of The New York Times’s coverage.
Who was charged in the scandal?
The ringleader, William Singer: The 59-year-old businessman from
Newport Beach, Calif., was the founder of a college preparatory
business, the Edge College & Career Network, and its charity
arm, the Key Worldwide Foundation. He had been working with
federal investigators since September.
Thirty-three parents, many of them high-profile: The parents
included the television star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the
fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; the actress Felicity
Huffman; and William E. McGlashan Jr., a partner at the private
equity firm TPG.
College athletic coaches: They were accused of accepting
millions of dollars to help admit undeserving students to a wide
variety of colleges, from the University of Texas at Austin to
Wake Forest and Georgetown, by suggesting they were top athletes.
How did the scheme work?
The system operated by falsifying a student’s test scores or
fabricating their athletic status. Here’s how the authorities
say it worked:
Parents paid for scores: According to prosecutors, parents paid
between $15,000 and $75,000 for higher test scores. Mr. Singer
encouraged some parents to get a learning disability waiver for
their children, which can give students more time to take the
tests or allow them do so without the regular supervision.
The cheating went down in three ways: Someone else would take
the SAT or ACT exams for the student; a person in on the scheme
would serve as the proctor and guide the students to the right
answers; or someone would review and correct the students’
answers after the tests were taken. Many students were not aware
their answers would be changed, prosecutors said.
Sports opened a back door to elite colleges: University coaches
and administrators were paid to secure admission for students
who may not have even played the sport.
Athletic achievements and images were doctored: Students’ faces
were photoshopped onto athletes’ bodies and bogus achievements
were added to their college applications.
It was all under wraps: The parents made payments to Mr.
Singer’s company that were disguised as donations and would be
funneled through the organization to the universities, allowing
the parents to claim tax deductions.
Read more about how the scheme worked, from bribes to doctored
How did the authorities first learn about all this?
About a year ago, federal prosecutors in Boston were working on
a securities fraud case, when their suspect gave them a
tantalizing bit of information: He knew about a college
admissions fraud scheme and he could help law enforcement learn
more, according to a person with knowledge of the case who spoke
on the condition of anonymity.
The suspect, who hoped to be granted leniency for his
cooperation, told them that a college coach had taken bribes to
secure athletic recruiting spots for prospective students.
Investigators ran down the tip, and by last April the F.B.I. had
set up a sting in a Boston hotel room, where they say a Yale
soccer coach named Rudolph Meredith solicited a $450,000 bribe
from a parent in exchange for saving a spot for his daughter on
Investigators pressed Mr. Meredith, who led them to an even
bigger target, Mr. Singer.
What’s the fallout?
Mr. Singer has pleaded guilty: He pleaded guilty to counts of
racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy
to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice in
federal court in Boston on Tuesday. The judge set sentencing for
June 19, and Mr. Singer was released on a $500,000 bond.
No charges for students: Federal prosecutors have not charged
any students or universities with wrongdoing, saying that many
students were not aware of what their parents were up to. But
Ms. Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, a social media
influencer with close to two million YouTube subscribers, is
drawing scrutiny for her paid posts about college life.
The parents are facing charges: Many parents were charged with
conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
If they are convicted, their sentences would most likely be
determined in part by how much they paid. For instance, parents
who paid $75,000 could get 12 to 18 months in prison, while
those who paid $500,000 could get 30 to 37 months, according to
Courtney Oliva, a researcher at the New York University School
of Law. If the parents plead guilty, the sentences could be
Coaches are facing the consequences: The sailing coach at
Stanford was fired. The U.C.L.A. men’s soccer coach was placed
on leave, as was the Wake Forest women’s volleyball coach, and
the men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas. Other coaches
have also faced disciplinary action.
U.S.C. faces more scrutiny: This isn’t the first scandal to
ensnare the University of Southern California, but this time,
the school is near the epicenter. Four U.S.C. athletic officials
are charged with taking bribes in the scheme, more than are
named at any other institution.
Students are suing: The legal fallout has already spread beyond
the criminal case, and is probably only beginning. Two Stanford
University students brought a federal class-action suit on
Wednesday on behalf of “qualified, rejected” students, accusing
eight schools of negligence. (The suit was amended on Thursday,
dropping one plaintiff and adding others with no ties to
Stanford.) “Each of the universities took the students’
admission application fees while failing to take adequate steps
to ensure that their admissions process was fair and free of
fraud, bribery, cheating and dishonesty,” the lawsuit argues.
Representatives of the eight universities named as defendants in
the case declined to comment or did not respond to messages.
Businesses have responded: Mr. McGlashan was terminated by the
private equity firm TPG on Thursday, the company said. Gordon
Caplan, co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr &
Gallagher, was placed on a leave of absence and his management
responsibilities were stripped. Another parent, Doug Hodge, the
retired chief executive of Pimco, one of the world’s biggest
bond fund managers, was removed from an investment firm’s
website. On Thursday, two California private schools where Mr.
Hodge was a board member said they were cutting ties with him.
The Thatcher School said it had asked Mr. Hodge to step down,
and the Sage School said he had resigned.
Other clients are stunned: Mr. Singer’s company’s website
included testimonials from some of the hundreds of families who
used its legitimate counseling services, including one from the
golfer Phil Mickelson, whose daughter Amanda is a sophomore at
Brown University. Asked about the scandal on Thursday after the
first round of the Players Championship, Mr. Mickelson said,
“We’re probably more shocked than anyone.” He said Mr. Singer
had come well recommended by friends, and did not approach him
about doing anything fraudulent for his daughter.
Read more about some titans of finance and law who have been
swept up in the scandal.