Rick Singer of CA accused of leading a college admissions scam


A Sacramento man is at the center of a high-profile swindle for which an indictment was unveiled on Tuesday, involving television actresses, CEOs and coaches in corruption efforts totaling $ 25 million to allow children to enter the best American schools.

According to the FBI and federal prosecutors, William Rick Singer, a resident of Sacramento and Newport Beach and owner of for-profit and not-for-profit educational groups, led a racketeering plot involving the use of standardized tests, according to a indictment filed in the US District Court of Massachusetts.

Singer, 59, is accused of facilitating cheating on SAT and ACT exams in exchange for bribes, most of which range from $ 15,000 to $ 75,000 per test. In some cases, a third party would "secretly pass exams instead of students," says the indictment.

The scam occurred between 2011 and September 2018, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Singer was running a for-profit academic consulting firm called The Edge College and Career Network, also known as "The Key."

At least two other residents of the Sacramento area are among the 50 people named in the indictment and are charged in the eastern district of California.

According to the prosecution documents, Steven Masera, 69, is a resident of Folsom. Until December 2017, Masera worked as an accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network, LLC and the Key Worldwide Foundation in Newport Beach.

According to the indictment, Mikaela Sanford, 32, was a resident of Folsom and was employed in various capacities for The Key.

Sanford's neighbor neighbor, Douglas Dean Sr., said the authorities had come to stop at their apartment complex.

"I looked out, I saw a guy standing there – a policeman here, I saw a badge … she had already opened the door at that time , and they all came in and I just said "Whoa," Dean said. "She's a very very nice lady, a very good neighbor … I thought," Wow. What's one as she could do well, with regards to all the knocking on the door?

Singer's story in the Sacramento area has been documented in previous articles of The Bee for decades.

In 1994, The Bee reported that Singer had founded Future Stars, a university-based counseling service that charged either $ 50 per hour or $ 1,200 in fixed fees for counseling during high school and the first year of college. Singer has boasted that for some customers he would set up "car rentals, airline reservations and hotels".

"I get information from schools even in places where the student said they would not consider it," Singer told The Bee in 1994. "Because of my coaching training I have visited a very large number of schools all over the country.

In 1988, Singer had been sacked as a high school basketball coach at Encina High School. A district spokesman at the time referred to this only as a "personnel matter".

In the early 1990s, the Sacramento Bee Archives show that Singer was the assistant coach of the Sacramento State men's basketball team.

In 2014, a book written by Singer titled "Get: Get Into College Admissions of Your Choice" was published and available on Amazon. The description of the book highlights the importance of creating a "personal brand" to enter a higher school.

Singer channeled money under the guise of charitable donations from parents. Singer has arranged for payments of at least $ 10,000 per bribe test to be paid to the directors of ACT and SAT in Los Angeles and Houston, the company said. Charge deed.

William Singer's indictment

The plot involved the country's top universities, including Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Southern California , University of Texas, Wake Forest and Yale.

TV actress Lori Loughlin, known for her role in "Full House", reportedly paid out $ 500,000 in bribes so that her two daughters would be admitted to the filming crew of the company. ; USC. Another actress, Felicity Huffman, is also named.

Coaches from Wake Forest University, Georgetown, and USC allegedly took bribes to admit student athletes.

Singer faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and racketeering.

Bee photographer Hector Amezcua contributed to this report.


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