College cheating ringleader says he helped more than 750 families with admissions scheme

Source: NBC News | March 13, 2019 | Tom Winter and Minyvonne Burke

The ringleader behind a $25 million college admission scam that implicated dozens of people, including Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, said he has worked with more than 750 families.

William Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Boston federal court to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges, said in a phone conversation recorded by the FBI that he helps “the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school.”

Singer said he facilitated 761 “side doors” to admission.

“They want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don’t want me messing around with this thing,” he said, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. “And so they want in at certain schools.”

According to the investigators, parents paid Singer millions to boost their kids’ chances of getting into schools such as Yale University, Stanford University and Georgetown University by paying people to take tests for their children, bribing test administrators to allow that to happen, and bribing college coaches to identify the applicants as athletes.

Singer, 58, faces a maximum sentence of 65 years if convicted.

“I am absolutely responsible for it,” he told U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel. “I put everything in place. I put all the people in place and made the payments directly.”

Some of the parents spent between $200,000 to $6.5 million to ensure their children would get into the schools. Singer said the price depended on what school the parents wanted their kids to get into, according to the court documents unsealed Tuesday.

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