The mastermind behind the widespread college admissions bribery scandal, William “Rick” Singer, is set to be sentenced Wednesday after secretly cooperating with the feds to snitch on wealthy parents whose kids he helped get into some of the nation’s top schools.
Federal prosecutors in Boston are asking that Singer get six years behind bars for leading the decade-long scam, in which he rigged the admissions process for celebrities and other high-profile families using made-up test scores and posing the children as athletes.
Singer, 62, worked with investigators and the FBI to record hundreds of phone calls and meetings, sparking the arrest of dozens of parents and coaches in March 2019.
Over 50 people — including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli and “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — were convicted in the case and sentenced to prison time.
Prosecutors claim Singer’s multi-million dollar scheme earned him over $25 million from his clients and paid bribes totaling to more than $7 million. He also allegedly spent over $15 million of his clients’ money for his own benefit.
For about a decade, the crooked admissions coach paid off college entrance exam administrators and proctors to boost students’ test scores.
He also bribed coaches to give the undeserving applicants spots on athletic teams, oftentimes for sports they didn’t even play, in the hopes it would boost their chances of receiving an acceptance letter to the school.
“He was the architect and mastermind of a criminal enterprise that massively corrupted the integrity of the college admissions process — which already favors those with wealth and privilege — to a degree never before seen in this country,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Singer pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy in connection to the scheme in March 2019 — on the same day the scandal made headlines and shocked the nation.
Ahead of his sentencing, Singer expressed regret and blamed his actions on his need to win “at all costs.” His lawyer has requested three years of probation or six months behind bars.
While Singer has remained out of jail, and never once been called as a witness in the cases that have gone to trial, he will get the chance to address the court before the judge hands down his sentence in Boston federal court.
If the judge agrees with prosecutors and sentences Singer to six years, it would be by far the longest sentence handed down in the case.
In addition to six years behind bars, prosecutors request the court order Singer serve an additional 36 months of supervised release and that he pay the IRS more than $10.6 million in restitution and forfeit assets valued at $5.3 million and $3.4 million in cash.
Singer has already paid $1,213,000 towards the $3.4 million money forfeiture, according to court documents.
With Post wires