‘Varsity Blues’ mastermind could face six years in prison for college cheating

The alleged “mastermind” behind the 2019 Varsity Blues College scam is set to be sentenced Wednesday and is reportedly facing six years in prison.

The Varsity Blues program was an elaborate college admissions fraud scandal involving celebrities, actors and prestigious universities in America. It allowed wealthy parents to pay for their children to cheat their way into top universities by taking bribes.

Prosecutors want William “Rick” Singer, the college admissions architect, to serve six years in prison and pay nearly $20 million in fines and confiscations, according to a CNN report.

Rick Singer
William “Rick” Singer exits Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice March 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Singer is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.
Getty

In March 2019, Singer pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Speaking of Singer’s upcoming sentencing, NewsNations Dan Abrams mused on the case on his show Tuesday.

He said: “[Singer’s] Attorneys argue that his cooperation with prosecutors should result in a lighter sentence than some of the parents convicted of participating in this program when he was [allegedly] skilfully.

“Singer’s attorneys want him to serve no more than six months [or 1 year home confinement]. Prosecutors are asking for six years.

“Singer cites unspecified childhood trauma and says he took responsibility for what he did, and maybe did, but many parents have pleaded guilty and went to jail.”

Abrams also dismissed some of the defenses the parents used before their cases, continuing to argue that Singer was aware it was wrong and illegal.

“Some parents among them [actress] Lori Loughlin claimed in her initial defense that Singer, who had become a government informant during the investigation, tricked her into participating.

“[He did this] By calling for donations they didn’t know were bribes, the so-called back door, he reassured them it was legal.

“The problem is, of course, when Singer asked parents to send anything to college coaches for sports their children weren’t involved in, it became clear that it was wrong, the false pictures of the kids playing the sport, which was paid.

“Both Loughlin and her husband have pleaded guilty to fraud and others have said Singer actively recruited them into his scheme and even cold-called some.

“A Chinese executive and his wife gave Singer $6.5 million, according to prosecutors
to get her daughter to Stanford, later claimed Singer tricked her into believing it was a donation.

“All of this may have been a convenient defense, but it’s clear that Singer took advantage of parents who wanted to help their children and had the means to do so.”

Prosecutors are asking the court to pay the IRS more than $10.6 million in restitution, $3.4 million in foreclosure and more than $5.3 million in assets.

https://www.newsweek.com/rick-singer-william-sentence-varsity-blues-scandal-mastermind-prison-college-scam-1771104 ‘Varsity Blues’ mastermind could face six years in prison for college cheating

Rick Schindler

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