50 people, including coaches, parents, administrators, charged in college cheating, bribery scheme

Crime

Fifty people across the country were arrested Tuesday morning and charged in Boston federal court in connection to a nationwide scheme to cheat on college entrance exams and admission.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, among those charged are coaches, parents, and exam administrators.

Lelling said 58-year-old William “Rick” Singer of California conspired with those involved in the scheme to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students into colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown University, Stanford University, USC, Wake University, and others.  

Associates of Singer’s business, including two SAT and ACT test administrators, 33 parents, and 13 coaches have been charged in connection with the scheme. 

According to Lelling, the scheme involved bribing the administrators to allow a test taker to secretly take college entrance exams in place of students or correct the students score after the exam had been taken.

The scheme also allegedly involved bribing athletic coaches and administrators to facilitate the admission of students to elite schools under the guise of being recruited as athletes. Lelling said another part of the scheme also included using the facade of Singer’s charitable organization to conceal the nature and source of the bribes. 

For the full news release with details of scheme click here

Singer is charged in an information with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to plead Guilty in Boston Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

The following other people have been charged in connection to the scheme: 

  • Mark Riddell, 36, of Florida, is 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 Connecticut, the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud as well as honest services wire fraud
  • John Vandemoer, 41, of California, the former sailing coach at Stanford University, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy. He is expected to plead guilty in Boston Tuesday at 3 p.m.
  •  David Sidoo, 59, of Canada, was charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sidoo was arrested March 8 and was in court in California Monday.
  • Michael Center, 54, of Texas, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin is charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud

The following people have been charged with an indictment of racketeering conspiracy: 

  • Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of California, director of a private elementary and high school in Los Angeles and a test administrator for the College Board and ACT
  • Gordon Ernst, 52, Maryland., former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University
  • William Ferguson, 48, of N.C., former women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University
  • Martin Fox, 62, of Texas, president of a private tennis academy in Houston
  • Donna Heinel, 57, of California, the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California
  • Laura Janke, 36, of California, former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California
  • Ali Khoroshahin, 49, of California, former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California
  • Steven Masera, 69, of California, accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation
  • Jorge Salcedo, 46, of California, former head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles
  • Mikaela Sanford, 32, of California, employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation
  • Jovan Vavic, 57, of California, former water polo coach at the University of Southern California
  • Niki Williams, 44, of Texas, assistant teacher at a Houston high school and test administrator for the College Board and ACT

The following people are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud: 

  • Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., the founder and chairman of a food and beverage packaging company;
  • Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
  • Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, Nev., the former senior executive of a resort and casino operator in Macau, China;
  • Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, Calif., an executive at a retail merchandising firm;
  • Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, Calif., an entrepreneur and investor;
  • Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the CEO of a boutique marketing company;
  • Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., co-chairman of an international law firm based in New York City;
  •  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;
  • Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, Calif., fashion designer;
  •  Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
  • Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, Calif., founder, chairman and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company;
  • Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., former CEO of investment management company;
  • Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress;
  • Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., owner of wine vineyards;
  • 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, Nev., 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, Calif., an 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 a global 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, Calif., executive at privately held provider of outsourced sales teams;
  • Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., 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; and
  • Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, Fla., founder and CEO of private investment firm.

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