03/12/2019

U.S. federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged dozens of people in a years-old $25 million scheme to help wealthy Americans buy their children’s way into elite schools including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford universities.

Federal prosecutors in Boston charged William “Rick” Singer, 58, with running the racketeering scheme through his Edge College & Career Network, which served a roster of clients including chief executives and Hollywood actresses.

Prosecutors said Singer’s operation arranged for fake testers to take college admissions exams in place of his clients’ children, and in some cases arranged for applicants to be listed as recruited athletes even if they had no athletic ability.

Singer is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday in Boston federal court to charges including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to court papers. He could not be reached for immediate comment.

Some 33 parents, including Hollywood actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged, as well as 13 coaches and associates of Singer’s business.

On a call with a wealthy parent, prosecutors said, Singer summed up his business thusly: “What we do is help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school ... my families want a guarantee.”

Reuters (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Scott Malone, Bernadette Baum and Bill Berkrot)