William Rick Singer, owner of for-profit college prep business Edge College Career Network also famous as “The Key,” is allegedly a designer behind one of the largest college admissions scams to ever strike a U.S. and went to good lengths — that enclosed pricey fees — to safeguard his clients’ final were met.
Singer, 58, has been called a “ringleader” behind a scheme, purportedly collecting roughly $25 million from dozens of individuals including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin over a march of scarcely a decade to lie propagandize coaches and administrators into sanctimonious their children were jaunty recruits to safeguard their acknowledgment into tip tier colleges, prosecutors say.
The Newport Beach, Calif., businessman concluded to beg guilty in Boston sovereign probity Tuesday to charges including racketeering swindling and deterrent of justice. As a partial of his guilty plea, Singer pronounced he would compensate during slightest $3.4 million to a feds, The Boston Globe reports.
On his website for The Key, Singer describes himself as a dedicated father and manager who understands a vigour put on families surrounding college acceptances. The Key calls itself “the nation’s largest private life coaching and college conversing company.”
William Rick Singer, owner of a Edge College and Career Network, pleaded guilty to charges in a national college admissions temptation scandal.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
“As owner of The Key, we have spent a past 25 years assisting students learn their life passion, and running them along with their families by a formidable college admissions maze. Using The Key method, a coaches assistance clear a full intensity of your son or daughter, and set them on a march to surpass in life,” Singer settled online, providing biographies for 7 other “coaches.”
Andrew Lelling, U.S. profession for a District of Massachusetts, reportedly claimed Singer’s clients paid him “anywhere between $200,000 and $6.5 million” for his singular services.
Parents of impending students conspired with a college opening consultant to kick a complement and safeguard their students were certified or had a improved possibility to be certified to certain colleges or universities, including Yale, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest and others.
“According to a charging documents, Singer facilitated intrigue on a SAT and ACT exams for his clients by instructing them to find extended time for their children on college opening exams, that enclosed carrying a children effect to have training disabilities in sequence to obtain a compulsory medical documentation,” a U.S. Justice Department explained, in part, in an online statement.
“Singer would accommodate what relatives wanted to do.”
However, that was only one of many ways Singer ensured a students got supposed to chosen schools such as Yale, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest and others.
“Singer would accommodate what relatives wanted to do,” Lelling said, adding that it “appears that a schools are not involved.”
Prosecutors contend a consultant represented to relatives that a intrigue had worked successfully some-more than 800 times.
Singer also served as CEO of a Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), a non-profit he claimed was a charity. Bribery payments were sheltered as donations to KWF in sums adult to $75,000 per SAT or ACT exam, a Justice Department said, observant that many students didn’t comprehend their relatives had staged anything.
“This is a box where [the parents] flaunted their wealth, provident no responsibility to lie a complement so they could set their children adult for success with a best income can buy,” Joseph Bonavolonta from a FBI Boston Field Office pronounced in a Tuesday news conference.
In total, 50 people — including some-more than 30 relatives and 9 coaches — were charged Tuesday in a scheme.
Fox News’ Katherine Lam,Travis Fedschun and The Assocaited Press contributed to this report.