A real conspiracy: Wealthy Americans conspire with coaches, university & college entrance test administrators to rig admissions into elite universities

This post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds

A friend, R., admonished and ordered me not to send him any posts on Sandy Hook after I sent him my January 8, 2019 post, “More evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School had moved to Monroe, CT before the shooting massacre,” with documentary evidence from Wolfgang Halbig showing Sandy Hook Elementary School had moved to Chalk Hill Middle School in nearby Monroe, Connecticut, months before the December 14, 2012 mass shooting.

Instead of disputing my post with evidence or reasoning, R. called me an agent of Satan for trafficking in conspiracy theories, which he dismisses because he doesn’t believe in conspiracies and because so many conspiracy theories implicate Jews.

An aside: R., who was adopted as an infant by a childless German immigrant couple, recently learnt from a DNA-testing company that he is part Jewish, never mind the fact that we have good evidence that the results of these commercial DNA ancestry tests are unreliable. (See “DNA ancestry companies fake African ancestry for white people” and “Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test“.) R. actually said in an email before we ceased all communication, that he believes it’s his Jewish ancestry that accounts for why he’s so smart and got a Ph.D., whereas his (adopted) parents never went to college. Curiously, his dumb but hardworking and frugal parents managed to accumulate considerable financial assets from owning and operating a small business.

This post is about a very real conspiracy — by very wealthy Americans conspiring to rig college admissions so that their children get into élite universities, not on their own merits, but via bribes and fake athleticism. To top it off, the ring leader of this very real conspiracy, William Singer, is Jewish.

Singer had already pleaded guilty and is helping the FBI gather incriminating evidence against his co-conspirators.

On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 50 wealthy Americans — including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged in the largest college cheating “conspiracy” ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Below is the DOJ press release:

Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states this morning and charged in federal court in Boston. Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators.

William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., was charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Singer owned and operated the Edge College & Career Network LLC (“The Key”) – a for-profit college counseling and preparation business – and served as the CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) – a non-profit corporation that he established as a purported charity.

Between approximately 2011 and February 2019, Singer allegedly conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator, and others, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities including Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University, among others. Also charged for their involvement in the scheme are 33 parents and 13 coaches and associates of Singer’s businesses, including two SAT and ACT test administrators.

Also charged is John Vandemoer, the head sailing coach at Stanford University, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, the former head soccer coach at Yale University, and Mark Riddell, a counselor at a private school in Bradenton, Fla.

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The DOJ press release then describes three groups of conspiracies:

(1) College Entrance Exam Cheating Conspiracy:

  • Singer instructed his clients to ask for extended time for their children on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams, by claiming the children have learning disabilities in order to obtain the required medical documentation.
  • Once the extended time was granted, the parents asked that the location of the exams be changed to one of two test centers: a public high school in Houston, Texas, or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood, Calif.
  • At those test centers, Singer had established relationships with test administrators Niki Williams and Igor Dvorskiy, respectively, who accepted bribes of as much as $10,000 per test to facilitate the cheating scheme by having a third individual, typically Mark Riddell, to take the exams in place of the students, to give the students the correct answers during the exams, or to correct the students’ answers after they completed the exams.
  • Singer typically paid Ridell $10,000 for each student’s test.
  • The parents paid Singer between $15,000 and $75,000 per test, with the payments structured as purported donations to Singer’s tax-exempt Key Worldwide Foundation charity.

(2) College Recruitment Conspiracy:

  • Parents paid Singer, under the guise of charitable donations to his KWF non-profit, approximately $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators to designate their children as purported athletic recruits, thereby facilitating the children’s’ admission to those universities.
  •  Singer directed employees of The Key and the KWF non-profit to create falsified athletic “profiles” for these children — with fake honors, fake elite teams that they purportedly played on, and staged photos of the children engaged in athletic activity, such as using a rowing machine or purportedly playing water polo.
  • The fake athletic profiles were then submitted to the universities in support of the students’ applications.

(3) Tax Fraud Conspiracy:

  • Beginning around 2013, Singer had parents disguise bribe payments as charitable contributions to his tax-exempt non-profit Key Worldwide Foundaton (KWF), thereby enabling the clients to deduct the bribes from their federal income taxes.
  • KWF employee Steven Masera or another employee then mailed letters from the KWF to the parentss expressing thanks for their purported charitable contributions. The letter stated: “Your generosity will allow us to move forward with our plans to provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth,” and falsely indicated that “no good or services were exchanged” for the donations. The parents then filed personal tax returns that falsely reported the payment to the KWF as charitable donations.

Below are the 50 individuals charged in the college admissions conspiracy:

  1. William Rick Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was 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 before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.;
  2. Mark Riddell, 36, of Palmetto, Fla., was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering;
  3. Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, of Madison, Conn., 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;
  4. John Vandemoer, 41, of Stanford, Calif., the former sailing coach at Stanford University, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy and is expected to plead guilty in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.;
  5. David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, was charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sidoo was arrested on Friday, March 8th in San Jose, Calif., and appeared in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on March 11, 2019. A date for his initial appearance in federal court in Boston has not yet been scheduled.

The following defendants were charged in an indictment with racketeering conspiracy:

  1. Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., director of a private elementary and high school in Los Angeles and a test administrator for the College Board and ACT;
  2. Gordon Ernst, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University;
  3. William Ferguson, 48, of Winston-Salem, N.C., former women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University;
  4. Martin Fox, 62, of Houston, Texas, president of a private tennis academy in Houston;
  5. Donna Heinel, 57, of Long Beach, Calif., the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California;
  6. Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, Calif., former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
  7. Ali Khoroshahin, 49, of Fountain Valley, Calif., former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
  8. Steven Masera, 69, of Folsom, Calif., accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
  9. Jorge Salcedo, 46, of Los Angeles, Calif., former head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles;
  10. Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, Calif., employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
  11. Jovan Vavic, 57, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., former water polo coach at the University of Southern California; and
  12. Niki Williams, 44, of Houston, Texas, assistant teacher at a Houston high school and test administrator for the College Board and ACT.

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

  1. Michael Center, 54, of Austin Texas, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin.

The following defendants are some of the parents involved in the conspiracy, who were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud:

  1. Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., the founder and chairman of a food and beverage packaging company;
  2. Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
  3. Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, Nev., the former senior executive of a resort and casino operator in Macau, China;
  4. Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, Calif., an executive at a retail merchandising firm;
  5. Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, Calif., an entrepreneur and investor;
  6. Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the CEO of a boutique marketing company;
  7. Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., co-chairman of an international law firm based in New York City;
  8. I-Hin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, Calif., operates a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry;
  9. Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
  10. Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
  11. Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., founder and CEO of real estate development firm;
  12. Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, Calif., fashion designer;
  13. Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
  14. Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, Calif., founder, chairman and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company;
  15. Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., former CEO of investment management company;
  16. Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress on TV’s Desperate Housewives, and her spouse, actor William H. Macy, made a phony charitable contribution of $15,000 to have someone take the college entrance exam for her eldest daughter;
  17. Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., owner of wine vineyards;
  18. Bruce Isackson, 61, of Hillsborough, Calif., president of a real estate development firm;
  19. Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif.;
  20. Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, Calif., former executive of a large food manufacturer;
  21. Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, Nev., owner and president of a media company;
  22. Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., co-owner of jewelry business;
  23. Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress on the Netflix’s comedy Fuller House, and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli of the Mossimo clothing line, paid $500,000 in bribe to have their two daughters recruited to the USC crew team, even though they had not previously participated in crew sports. On March 14, the Hallmark Channel severed ties with Loughlin; on March 16, Netflix decided to drop Loughlin from Fuller House;
  24. Toby MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, Calif., former senior executive at a title insurance company;
  25. William McGlashan Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, Calif., senior executive at a global equity firm;
  26. Marci Palatella, 63, of Healdsburg, Calif., CEO of a liquor distribution company;
  27. Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., packaged food entrepreneur;
  28. Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., executive at privately held provider of outsourced sales teams;
  29. Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., founder and CEO of provider of drinking and wastewater systems;
  30. John Wilson, 59, of Hyannis Port, Mass., founder and CEO of private equity and real estate development firm;
  31. Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, Calif., an associate professor of dentistry; and
  32. Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, Fla., founder and CEO of private investment firm.

If found guilty, here are the sentences for the above 50 defendants, based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors:

  • The charge of racketeering conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater and restitution.
  • The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering.
  • The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
  • The charge of obstruction of justice provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
  • The charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of 250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

Separated at birth: Parkland’s David Hogg (l) and Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza (r)

Star Political reports that the admission into Harvard University of David Hogg, a prominent anti-gun activist who became famous as a “survivor” of the Parkland school shooting on February 14, 2018, is now being questioned because:

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