Largest college admissions cheating bust


But you do acknowledge that “many” is not all, right? Because that seems to be the disconnect in this discussion. You’re willing to give the benefit of doubt, while others are not. There is proof to back up that some students absolutely did know what was happening and that they were cheating.


Yes. There is at least one daughter I think that was on the phone discussing the scam. I. and others, are talking about the ones that did not commit an actual crime.


From a criminal standpoint, any of the students involved in the conspiracy knowingly need to be criminially charged appropriately.

From an academic standpoint, I can see that there is a basis to conduct an audit of all the involved students. If a student both did not knowingly participate in the fraud and also did good enough work to earn their grades or degrees, I say leave em be.

And by audit, I mean checking some of their work, and also checking to see if in addition to admission fraud, there was grade fraud etc. I would not be surprised if there were multiple layers of fraud. Assuming the students were just unknowing recipients, if their work is actually of a quality to earn their degrees or grades, then they should keep them. What’s done is done and you can’t turn back time and we don’t prosecute kids for the crimes of their parents in this country.

However, I think an audit of their grades, their work, their degrees, etc. is definitely warranted. It’s entirely possible that in addition to the admission fraud there was grade fraud / paper fraud / test fraud /etc. It’s also possible that some unqualified students skated through on the strength of being admitted and didn’t actually do the work to get a degree. If so, then appropriate action, including expulsion or revocation of degrees, should be taken.

So, we need to look at the actual circumstances. But I feel like every school involved here needs to audit both itself and the students very carefully.


I get that, but then @Skipper and others are talking about students that were in on it, and the ones that don’t seem to have proof either way.


This is also my position, and yes, they should check their work.

Okay. If we don’t have proof either way, we have to presume innocence. That’s a basis for legal system and it should be here too. Check their work though, make sure it’s legit. If they cheated once, there’s a good chance they’re do it again.


Nesrie, to be fair here, there was one brief mention today that some students might face charges. And that’s a maybe. What I’m referring to however, way above, is that I think the current students should be expelled (an unpopular opinion, but it’s mine.) I also (an even further unpopular opinion here) think any students that were part of this should have degrees revoked if they have graduated. For either of those, there doesn’t have to be a crime committed by the student, nor a charge against them by the feds. They simply have to invalidate the rules and requirements of said universities in some way, knowingly or not.

I’ll further add, many have noted that will not happen as the universities in question would open themselves up to legal challenges.


I agree that the wealthy parents will only be fined and put on some kind of probation. I really don’t see sending people who committed this type of crime to prison, wealthy or not. The guy who ran the operation, yea, he should get jail time and a monstrous fine. As for the people who accepted the bribes, being middle class (we are talking college employees in most cases) shouldn’t give you an excuse to be bribed. Their careers probably should be ruined. They were the ones supposedly protecting things. And should it turn out that the schools themselves participated directly in this fraud or had knowledge of it they should be punished as well.

Does anyone really think only the parents in this case deserve jail? Is it a crime just to be rich and want the best for your kid?


Yes. Jail for everyone.


This is pretty insane.

They got in (through shady means, possibly without their knowledge) completed 4 years of coursework, and got good enough grades to graduate, used their degree to get a job, and then it is taken away? If there is no evidence they cheated in school once they got in, why take away something they earned anyway. They may have not earned the right to study at the school, but they spent 4 years getting a degree that they paid for (their parents paid for) and they get punished?

I just don’t get that, I think that goes a bit far. I can see the case made for kids there fradulently that have not graduated could be expelled. But retroactively revoking work completed because they got through the admissions process fraudulently is a bit far.

Fine the parents, fine the schools, use that money to fund scholarships for underserved kids, and some good will have come from this.


For the public employees… and some of those are public employees, yeah, they should get jail.

And yes, these are not minor charges. They, and others, can get prison time.

edit wrong quote


Is that what happened here? They just wanted the best?
It’s like laws don’t apply to some people in this country just because they are rich.


I would agree, as my post stated, that the employees of the schools are the most culpable as they had a responsibility to their job.

Taking away the diplomas is crazy talk. If they earned it they should keep it. As for current students, that is probably up to the school.


I do. And I think that it’s important that they get sent to jail because the fines would be largely meaningless. Jailing someone is not (only) meant to be a punishment to those that commit the crime, it’s meant to be a deterrent to others who are considering such a crime.

If you’re a multi-millionaire and your punishment for bribing a public official (and that’s what these employees of a state university are) is simply a monetary fine that is a tiny fraction of your net worth, then what type of deterrent is that?

Now, I don’t think that they should be given the full 20 years (apparently the max sentence, but IANAL); a couple months or even a few weeks in the Pen would be plenty.


Read thru the 150+ replies and tell me you don’t sense a certain hatred for the wealthy for just being wealthy. And yes, they are privliged, broke the law and will feel very little from this. But they are not the only parents who do unethical things for their kids.


It is, I agree with that assessment. I don’t often have strong opinions on some of this but for some reason this strikes a nerve for me. It’s a harsh opinion stemming from the fact I feel they shouldn’t have been at the school in the first place, they took a chance for someone else who actually deserved to go, and yet, in the end, they still get a degree. If I put that on the crime meter, assuming they didn’t know, is that a crime? No, probably not. If I put it on the fairness meter that they got the benefit of their parents commuting a crime so they could attend the school in the first place, is it fair? No, it is not.

I wouldn’t want your child or someone else’s child to have been denied what could have resulted in an awesome leg up in life to the benefit of someone who got there through criminal means.

Perhaps there is a way to meet that half way somewhere? Not expel them or take their degree but they have to pay for the admission of another future low-income student’s full ride for instance? I dunno, I’m open to suggestions.

But I don’t like: Well their Mom and Dad were rich and committed fraud for them to get there, but they studied and graduated, so they’re cool now.

Valid point for my opinion here, and also valid point for the last comment. But we’re here now. Do we look away and let this continue, or do we conceed that if you’re rich (in this case) you just get away with it?


Make them clean the trash off the 5 or the 101 for a couple months. That would have a bigger effect and be cheaper for the state finding a prison cell for them.


But would it actually be a deterrent for the hundreds or thousands of other rich parents that are doing this now or have been considering doing this? We should be willing to spend some money on jail cells now if it actually prevents more such crimes in the future.

Some people manage to do the most good by becoming an example for others. In this case, a cautionary example.


If we’re negotiating … only if they can’t post their assistance with that to any social media and if they do they subsequently serve 30 days mandatory in county. I’ll have my paralegal write it up, McCoy.


So in California if you steal a car that doesn’t reach a certain value it is a misdemeanor and you don’t go to prison, but bribe a school water polo coach to get your kid in a university (where you will still need to come up with tuition) and you should go to prison.

We need more prisons folks.


Agreed. :)