The college admissions scheme revealed Tuesday is the largest of its kind ever prosecuted, federal prosecutors said, and features 50 defendants across six states, millions of dollars in illegally funneled funds and a handful of the country’s most selective universities.
But at its core, the alleged scheme is remarkably simple – and brazen.
Cheat on standardized tests. Bribe the people who decide which students get admitted. All the while pretending that money was for charity.
“I’ll speak more broadly, there were essentially two kinds of fraud that Singer was selling,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said, referring to William Rick Singer, the figure at the center of the scheme.
“One was to cheat on the SAT or ACT, and the other was to use his connections with Division I coaches and use bribes to get these parents’ kids into school with fake athletic credentials,” Lelling said at a press conference in Boston.
A total of 50 people were charged in the case. Those arrested include two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents, according to Lelling.
Here’s how the plan worked, according to prosecutors.
Cheating on the ACTs and SATs
Of course, students who score higher on standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT are more likely to get into selective colleges.
Given that, Singer facilitated cheating on those exams for students whose wealthy parents paid for his services.
Singer pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to