Three parents who all paid college admissions mastermind William “Rick” Singer and were charged in the ongoing scandal pleaded guilty in Boston’s federal court Friday, according to the office of United States Attorney Andrew Lelling.
All three California parents agreed to paying Singer thousands of dollars to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their children.
Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills; Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach; and Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Buckingham paid Singer $50,000, Flaxman paid $75,000 and Klapper paid $15,000.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the guidelines, one year of supervised release, a fine, restitution and forfeiture.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled the sentencings for Buckingham, Flaxman and Klapper for Oct. 23, Oct. 18, and Oct. 16, respectively.
Singer, 58, has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
The self-described “master coach” orchestrated the college admissions scandal, prosecutors say.
He warned parents that in the scramble for a spot at an elite university, their children would hardly stand out without his help. He spoke of a “side door” to top schools he could wrench open to the “wealthiest families in the U.S.” He promised their children nothing short of “a life of success.”
Singer was paid $25 million by parents who, believing their children lacked the grades and test scores to get into elite universities, turned to the reputed college admissions guru who bragged of helping shuttle more than 700 students a year into top schools through “the side door,” according to prosecutors.
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