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Former USC coach found guilty of conspiracy and fraud in college admissions fraud

Mark Riddell, 39 who helped the rich parents buy their children’s way to universities, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release after prison offer. He was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and submit $239,449. in confiscation, according to Caroline Ferguson, press secretary for US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts.

Before sentencing, former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavić was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud for extortion and taking bribes to facilitate admission of pupils in scam.

Riddell, standardized test-taking a scientist, paid either ace SAT and ACT in students’ place, or correct student responses before they are submitted in, prosecutors said.

CNN reached out Riddell’s lawyer for comment.

Riddell, one of many people caught up in broader outline in 2019, pleaded guilty to year to one think of conspiracy for the purpose commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, and one think of conspiracy for the purpose commit money laundering.

Authorities arrested and charged Riddell, dozens of parents, college coaches and administrators in an extensive 2019 investigation known as “Operation Collegiate Blues”.

Riddell agreed to plea deal in 2019 is calling for low level incarceration of recommendations for sentencing for accusations. federal prosecutors offered a sentence of 33 to 41 months, a law enforcement source told CNN that year. He had faced up up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Riddell was tied up with William “Rick” Singer, former college admissions coach who organized the scam.

singer, prosecutors said ran two general Fraud: first, to cheat on standardized tests for students whose parents paid; and second use Singer connections with college sports coaches and use bribes to get paid parentschildren to school with fake sports data.

Riddell was key player in test fraud, prosecutors said.

For many years, starting in 2011, Singer, owner of college prep businessbribe test administrators allowed Riddell to take tests in pupils’ place or correct student answers, prosecutors said. funnel singer money from a fictitious charitable organization to which his clients donated to test Administrators in Los Angeles private school and public high school in Houston, authorities said.

Riddell was paid $10,000 for test, prosecutors said.

“He was just very smart guy.” — Andrew Lelling, U.S. Attorney for district of Massachusetts, said in March 2019 news conference. “He didn’t have any side information about the correct answers. He was just smart enough to achieve near-perfect score on exam or for calibration score.”

singer, who assisted the investigation, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and other charges, and is awaiting sentencing.

‘One of the biggest scandals in in history of academy

US Attorney for Massachusetts Rachel Rollins told her office “grateful” for verdict in Vavich case, part of what she called “maybe one of the biggest scandals in in history of academy”.

“To say that behavior in this case was reprehensible is putting it mildly,” Rollins said at a press conference. “Rich, powerful and famous, dripping with privileges and rights, used them money and influence to steal college places from more qualified and worthy students.

Vavich took bribes from Singer.

Vavich was accused of appointing certain USC applicants as water polo recruits, thereby facilitating their admission to the university, relying on on fake sports resumes, in exchange for bribes. He was fired in March 2019 after his allegations of his participation in the scam was made public.

On Friday, Stephen Larson, an attorney representing Vavik, said they were “disappointed.” with jury decision find Vavich guilty of all of accusations against his.

“We are disappointed with but respectfully of jury decision” Larson said.

Majority people charged in Operation University Blues investigation pleads guilty

Overwhelming majority of The defendants pleaded guilty and left out their offerings tend to be measured in weeks or months.
Among more high profile parents charged in in test- take a serving of scheme was actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to conspiring with commit mail fraud and honest mail fraud for paying $15,000 to the singer to boost her daughter’s adult life test scores. Huffman spent 11 days. in jail in 2019.
Another actress, Lori Loughlin, spent two months in prison And her husband Mossimo Giannulli spent five months in prison for pay $500,000 to get their two daughters into university of Southern California as fake recruited athletes.

CNN’s Laura Lee, Travis Nichols, Braden Walker, Mark Morales, and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.


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Tyler Hromadka
Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

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