Largest college admissions cheating bust


I see no reason to punish someone because they are young and dumb and rich but rich parents bribing public officials is not a minor thing and if the crime warrants jail time, they should serve it. It’s almost impossible to even compare like crimes with the poor serving time because the poor don’t have, what did one of them pay, 1.8 mil to bribe someone with?


Are we comparing monetary values for the crimes? Because I’m cool with that if we’re comparing this to car theft money.


I want my car thieves locked up is all. Them and my murderers. And maybe somebody from Wells Fargo and one of the guys who caused the housing meltdown.


I’m not a big fan of whataboutism arguments, but for the record, I’m OK with rich people being sent to prison for stealing cheap cars too.

All I’m saying is that punishments for rich persons might of necessity have to be different than those for the less well-off. If a middle-class parent is considering bribing a water-polo coach, then the possibility of getting caught and paying a $25K fine might indeed be a deterrent. None of the parents described in the affidavit are going to blink at paying that fine.

If I’m a rich parent who wants to get their undeserving kid into Georgetown, then reading these articles might actually make me MORE interested in finding some service like the one cited: They operated for 20 years and only now got caught? And the parents who were caught red-handed paid a fine that is less than the amount I spend on my yacht’s quarterly barnacle-removal service? Sign me up!


Some of Scandanavian countries do this. Traffic fines are calculated as a percentage of your annual income.


Cavuto on Fox Business (or whatever that channel is called) had a guy on there today who said these type services are everywhere and many are worthless. Apparently their main clients are rich foreigners trying to place their kids in a good American college. I guess this placement company was good in that they actually found a way to deliver the college.

He also argued that saying others are displaced by the kids getting into schools illegally is not really true based on the way most of these kids were getting in. All the kids getting in thru some type of athletic fraud were not impacting the general student population applications.


But there are other athletes, actual athletes trying to get in using those same programs.


I can see SlainteMhath already replying, probably to repeat what he posted above. Many schools have a certain number of kids that they are willing to take on as athletes who did not have quite the grades to get in otherwise (and we’re usually talking about like 0.15 of a GPA difference here) – this is a finite number, and fought over by student athletes.

My older daughter had one of these slots offered to her at a pretty good New England college. Since it didn’t come with a scholarship, we turned it down, but I am certain that another parent eagerly snapped it up. This is NOT a victimless crime; they are absolutely preventing real student-athletes from gaining admission into those quality schools.


I assume there are sentencing guidelines for all of these crimes. There are enough felonies piled up that they aren’t going to be a traffic ticket and a slap on the wrist. We can also assume judges take into account other factors, such as past criminal acts, danger to the public, etc.

I also assume (without any facts) that neither Lori Loughlin or Felicity Huffman are career criminals. I think it’s possible that this is the first significant crime either has committed. I would not want a judge to max out their sentences because of the prevailing spirit against social injustice. I would expect a judge to follow the normal guidelines.

I also expect that means neither will go to prison. I’m fine with that. As felonies go, these are relatively small potatoes. These aren’t white collar financial crimes that broke millions of lives. The victims are kids that didn’t get into their first-choice school. That’s unfair, and deserving of legal attention – I’m not saying this is victimless crime. I am saying it’s not worthy of long prison sentences.


The kids getting “setup” as athletes were not getting scholarships, just noted as going into those programs. Coaches always over recruit so a few extra would never show up, although I do think the kid who was listed as a walk on back up field goal kicker for USC was probably set up to get caught. But most involve small sports with little attention and very little scholarship money anyway. Kid gets in school as a walk on for water polo and never shows up. He isn’t taking anyone’s spot.


He would be wrong.

Having just had a kid go through the admissions process myself, I can say that most schools have hard caps on admissions, and even if they don’t have a hard cap on general studies admission, they certainly do on specific program admissions. There are also only so many admission waivers a coach can utilize per academic year (these aren’t scholarships, they’re simply admissions fast-passes used for non-scholarship athletes).

Therefore, if Richie Rich gets accepted on a false athletic admission (non-scholarship) for rowing, and he’s then admitted to the business program, he’s effectively fucking over TWO kids. Kid #1 is the kid who would have walked-on with the rowing team and used that coaches waiver (and studied whatever), Kid #2 is a non-athlete who applied for the business program but ended up accepted into the general studies program instead because the business program had reached it’s hard cap.


Kudos for Cavuto for covering the “won’t someone think of these poor rich kids?!” angle.


There’s too many articles on this, but I think it was Stanford that declined to help Singer a second time in the same year because he actually had to get real athletes in the program. If there wasn’t a limit, I don’t know why he would decline another cash crop.


If the schools knew Singer was involved then you have to question if the schools weren’t aware of the bribes. And I can’t imagine any legit athletic program that would depend in any way on someone doing Singers type work for an athlete. Maybe Southern Iowa A&M looking for a women’s wrestler or something, but not a Stanford, UCLA or Wake Forest.


Yea, I am sure you watched it and saw that exact thing happen. EYEROLLEMOJI


Oh it was due to the bribe risk not the limit.

In a conversation recorded by federal officials, Singer allegedly explained to Wilson how the process would work: “I can send him your $500,000 that you wired into my account to secure the spot for one of your girls. I asked him for a second spot in sailing and he said he can’t do that because he has to actually recruit some real sailors so that Stanford doesn’t … catch on.”

but Bloomberg says this:

At USC and the University of California, Los Angeles – both elite schools with elite sports programs – athletic recruits are typically considered by designated admissions committees, which also admit students with lower academic profiles. An investigator’s explanatory affidavit similarly identified 128 slots at Wake Forest and about 158 at Georgetown University designated for athletes provided they meet some minimum academic standard.

That’s not infinite.


The woman’s AD at USC has been fired for allegedly taking $1.3m worth of bribes, IIRC.


This is totally wrong. Coaches for these sports each have a quota of athletes for whom they can ask for special consideration from the admissions committee. For Ivy League schools, there’s no scholarship money so this is the only benefit of being recruited by the coach. There are definitely legitimate athletes who missed their spots because of this scheme, and the coaches are violating the trust of their athletes and the university by handicapping the team they coach.


This is now the third case today of me hearing someone throwing some defense to the parents here and each and every time it’s baloney. Yes I know it wasn’t Cavuto it was Andy Lockwood. And I’m summarizing the below items from various things I’ve heard today.

In each case they mention one of more of four things to soften the negative PR about these parents:

  1. Distance the parents from the crime. (They were just talking about tests.)
  2. Equate the crime to nothing. (Everyone is doing it.)
  3. Stand the parents up in good light. (“William McGlashan is an investor and worked with others to create a social impact fund that has invested in educational and personal finance technology.”) AKA he’s a job maker.
  4. Create confusion about guilt. (Many universities have a hidden process surrounding their entire admissions system.)

Which is why I feel not a single parent here is going to get a heavy sentence. Not to mention, they have money and will be able to afford a tidy legal defense fee. The organizer, the coaches, the test taker and probably some admissions folks will end up wit the heavy charges.


This, plus it is routine for rich people to pay bribes to get their kids into a school. The thing that is different here is who the bribes went to, e.g. not the school itself. Hard to make outrage stick to that distinction.