It’s been called the largest college admissions cheating scandal in U.S. history.
And with some of the suspect parents expected to formally plead guilty in coming weeks, attention is turning to their kids and how the scandal might affect their acceptance, enrollment or degrees. A Bay Area News Group analysis of hundreds of pages of court documents and other records shows:
- Sixteen of the students complete up attending or offered acceptance to the University of Southern California, four times as galore as Georgetown, which had the second-most students of parents suspect in the scam.
- At least a dozen students remain listed in their colleges as the criminal cases against their parents play out. A six others are believed to have earned degrees, piece some other born out.
- At least 10 of the students were apparently knowing participants in their parents’ alleged scheme with mastermind William “Rick” Singer, the knave college admissions counselor who has pleaded guilty.
A court testimony mentions 40 kids whose 33 parents allegedly schemed with Singer to get them into exclusive universities by bribing athletic coaches or paying test administrators to inflate entrance examination dozens. But more arrests are expected shortly, according to a report in USA Today.
At least one of the students has reportedly been notified they are under investigation. But one expert believes federal public public prosecutors will decline to prosecute the kids and leave it to colleges to boundary line out consequences.
“These students are going to be kicked out, and if they graduated, their degrees can be revoked,” aforementioned Manny Medrano, a former federal public public prosecutor and lawyer in Los Angeles specializing in clerical crime. “This is a lifelong punishment.”
Who likely knew?
Among those who court filings suggest participated in the scheme are possibly the best known of the bunch, the girls of actor Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, Isabella and Olivia Jade Giannulli. Court records indicate some girls were accepted at USC as crew prospects after submitting applications in which they posed for photographs with row instrumentality, though neither had rowed. One of the girls reportedly received a notice from federal public public prosecutors of being under investigation.
But they were hardly the only ones who likely knew. The older girl of Atherton financier Manuel Henriquez and his married woman, Elizabeth, is aforementioned in a court testimony to have “gloated” about the scheme with her mother and a man who had fed her correct answers during her SAT examination. She landed at Georgetown in 2016 as a field lawn tennis recruit, where she apparently remains a student. Her jr. sister was aforementioned to have been given answers to the ACT and SAT subject tests.
The older girl of Hillsborough developer Bruce Isackson and his married woman, Davina, allegedly was copied on a 2016 email from her mother thanking Singer for his “creativity” in dishonestly acquiring her into UCLA as a association football player. Her sister was copied on an email admitting her to USC as a prospective crew recruit though she wasn’t a competitive rower.
A girl of Miami capitalist Robert Zangrillo participated in a June 2018 call between her father and Singer about acquiring her into USC as a phony crew prospect, court filings say.
A son of Los Angeles gross gross sales executive Stephen Semprevivo sent an August 2015 email to the suspect Georgetown field lawn tennis coach touting his false field lawn tennis certificate, according to an testimony, and was admitted the following year.
And the son of laguna Beach developer Robert Flaxman was copied on a November 2015 email from Singer touting his accomplishments as a purported manager of a youth athletic team that was part of his application to the University of San Diego, where he was accepted in 2016. His sister in October 2016 was fed answers to the ACT, court filings aforementioned.
Attorneys for the suspect parents had no comment.
Who was unbroken in the dark?
Court filings indicate that Todd and Diane Blake tried to hide their efforts to get their girl admitted to USC last year as a fake volleyball recruit. In a recorded speech in February, Diane Blake told Singer her girl “doesn’t even know, you know?”
In a recorded speech about cheating to boost his girl’s ACT score, Singer assured suspect Connecticut lawyer Gordon Caplan that “she will never know that this actually occurred.”
Accused Las Vegas media mogul Elisabeth Kimmel indicated in a recorded July 2018 speech with Singer that her son “has no idea” he was admitted to USC as a fake pole pole pole vaulter with an application that used a photograph of some other athlete.
And suspect USC dental medicine professor Homayoun Zadeh in a March 2017 text message with Singer about acquiring his girl into USC as a fake field game player, fretted that she was concerned about “acquiring in on her own merits.” It was unclear if she later listed.
“I have not shared thing about our arrangement” with her, Zadeh continued, “but she somehow senses it.”
Whose parents are copping pleas?
Thirteen parents, among them Caplan, Flaxman, Semprevivo and the Isacksons, in agreement to plea deals with federal public public prosecutors this month. Others include actor Felicity Huffman, aforementioned to have paid for SAT cheating on behalf of her older girl, Sofia, and to have considered the same for her sister; San Francisco vintner Agustin Huneeus, whose girl was accepted to USC as a purported water polo player; and Los Angeles executive Devin Sloane, whose son besides got into USC as a phony water polo player.
Why were so galore of the fake applications tied to USC? Singer, the scheme’s mastermind, was based in Southern California, and the school had more current and former employees allegedly involved than others. USC has aforementioned it was the victim of “deceitful applications in which students’ academic and athletic ability were deliberately distorted to the university for the sole purpose of bypassing USC’s rigorous admissions process.” But the student newspaper, in an editorial, decried it as the latest scandal under administrators lacking serious oversight and accountability.
What are universities doing?
Universities caught up in the scandal, citing federal privacy law, have generally declined to discuss individual students’ cases, but besides stressed that any found to have submitted falsified applications may be subject to dismissal or revocation of degrees and course acknowledgment. Investigations of current students are ongoing.
Stanford is the only university connected to the caper to have announced dismissal of a student associated with the scheme.
USC aforementioned it has rejected an mere number of fall 2019 applicants it found to be tied to the case and frozen the status of current students, preventing them from receding, acquiring transcripts or registering for class until they agree to collaborate with a review of their situation. USC aforementioned “developments in the criminal cases, including plea deals by parents,” would factor into its decision on concerned students.
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But one of the concerned universities, Wake Forest in North Carolina, where a coach is charged with taking a bribe to bring in a wait-listed student as a volleyball player, in agreement to let the student stay. A interpreter explained there was “no information” she had knowledge of the alleged bribe or “was admitted on the basis of deceitful academic or athletic information.”
Scot Claus, an Arizona lawyer whose son attends USC but who isn’t involved in the case, aforementioned a university “certainly has discretion what its sanction is going to be” regarding students unwittingly admitted through their parents’ fraud. But he added that college applications require students to ensure they are truthful.
“The student affirms that revocation of the degree is a possible sanction,” Claus aforementioned, if the information in their application “is deemed to be false.”