Test administrator to plead guilty, parent faces sentencing over U.S. college scam
BOSTON (Reuters) – A former college entrance exam administrator is expected to plead guilty on Wednesday to participating in a vast college admissions cheating and fraud scheme, the same day a wealthy parent is set to face sentencing for his own role in it.
Federal prosecutors in Boston say that Igor Dvorskiy accepted about $10,000 in bribes per student to allow a corrupt test proctor to secretly take SAT and ACT college entrance exams on their behalf or correct their answers.
His plea will take place hours before title insurance company executive Toby Macfarlane faces sentencing for conspiring to bribe University of Southern California employees to secure the admission of his children as fake athletic recruits.
The two men are among 52 people charged with participating in a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of their children to top schools.
William “Rick” Singer, the consultant, pleaded guilty in March to charges he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and helped bribe sports coaches at universities to present his clients’ children as fake athletic recruits.
The 35 parents charged since March include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to a 14-day prison term after pleading guilty, and “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who is fighting the charges.
Dvorskiy, a former director of a private school in Los Angeles, served as a compensated test administrator for the companies that run the SAT and ACT college entrance exams, prosecutors said.
He is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering as part of an agreement to cooperate with authorities in the ongoing investigation, which has been dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Macfarlane pleaded guilty himself in June to conspiring to commit mail fraud. Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to sentence him to a year in prison.
Prosecutors said Macfarlane paid $400,000 in sham consulting fees to Singer, some of which he passed on to USC coaches as bribes, and $50,000 to an account controlled by an official who participated in the scheme.
Those payments helped facilitate the admission of his daughter and his son to USC as fake soccer and basketball recruits, prosecutors said.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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