Homehttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Entertainmenthttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/FBI college fraud investigation: the wildest stories from the college admissions inquiry
FBI college fraud investigation: the wildest stories from the college admissions inquiry
The college admissions scandal that began with a wide-ranging investigation of wealthy parents paying for fraudulently getting their kids into colleges and ended up with indictments against actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, among other things, has caused an uproar, and understandably so.
As I wrote on Tuesday:
The plot allegedly involved cheating on standardized testing exams like ACT and having the children of wealthy parents falsely designated as athletes – even paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make coaches claim the children were
But the documentation provided by the government to provide legal backing for its investigation goes even further in showing just how baffling this alleged scheme was on virtually every level ̵
1; and, allegedly, how effective it was at getting the kids of rich parents into top schools.
As part of the case, FBI Special Agent Laura Smith created an affidavit in support of the government's complaint against the defendants, including Loughlin and Huffman. The document is roughly 200 pages long, with transcripts of conversations between the defendants and Rick Singer, the man at the center of the scandal who ran a for-profit college counseling business called Edge College & Career Network and a charity named Key Worldwide Foundation. The foundation was allegedly used to launder money and channel it from wealthy parents to college coaches, administrators and others, including Singer himself.
If we lived in a world of my own making, I'd have shared screenshots of whole pages from the document, which you can read yourself here. But here are the most telling (and nonsensical) passages detailing how a massive scam to get rich kids into top colleges worked and how often people who were supposed to benefit from it – the kids themselves – had no idea
"And it works "" Every Time. "
In the document, Smith features transcripts of conversations between" CW-1 "- short for" Cooperating Witness -1, "referring to Rick Singer – with fraud and other charges in the case.
(It's worth noting that many of the conversations between Singer and his clients that were included in this affidavit took place after Singer had pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and money laundering racketeering charges and began cooperating with the government. sentence, Singer then gave over reams of documentary and recorded phone calls with his clients.
The services Smith including including faking their children's SAT or ACT scores and creating fake athletic profiles and bribing college coaches to recruit them to their schools (and, in some cases, both). The pitch to parents from Singer, the affidavit explained, was that it always worked.
Take this conversation between Singer and defendant Gordon Caplan. In the transcript featured in the affidavit, Singer tells Caplan that his plan to submit fraudulent test scores on behalf of the children of wealthy parents – sometimes by having someone else take the test for the child, in other words by having the answers "corrected" by and the test of proctor whom Singer had paid – works "every time."
Repeatedly throughout the affidavit, transcripts and recordings show Singer selling his services by bragging about how many times it has worked before. Some parents have even referred to Singer by other parents who have been successful in getting their children into college because of his fraud.
During this conversation with the defendant Agustin Huneeus, a vineyard owner in California who wanted to get his daughter into the University of Southern California, Singer and Huneeus are discussing Singer's alleged plan to falsely portray Huneeus's daughter as a water polo player so she can attend USC as a recruited athlete.
When Huneeus makes clear that his daughter is not talented enough to play water polo at USC, Singer says that the coach – Jovan Vavic, winner of 16 national titles in the sport – already knows that. And when Huneeus asks if there is any chance "this thing blows up in my face," Singer responds that in 24 years, he's never run into a problem
Perhaps part of why Singer's alleged scheme proved to be a good time and time again because he attempted to make the fraudulent test scores and fake athletic profiles at least somewhat believable.
Take another excerpt from his conversation with Huneeus: The parent complains about whether his daughter's faked SAT score (and 1380 out of a possible 1600) could have been higher. Singer responds that she would not have been workable, adding, "I'd have been investigated for sure on her grades," alluding to the questions that may have arisen over an average student scoring a near-perfect score on the SAT .