BOSTON (AP) – The mastermind of Nationwide College Admissions Bribery Scheme The case that implicated celebrities, prominent businessmen and other parents who used their wealth and privilege to buy their kids top-tier schools was sentenced Wednesday to 3 1/2 years in prison.

punished for rick singer62, is the longest sentence handed down in the massive scandal, which embarrassed some of the country’s most prestigious universities and highlighted a secretive admissions system already seen as rigged to favor the wealthy.

for over a decade as an admissions counselor for rich familySinger paid entrance test administrators or proctors to inflate students’ test scores and bribed coaches to designate applicants as recruits for sports, sometimes to increase their chances of getting into the school. Didn’t even play for it.

Singer pleaded guilty to multiple charges on the same day the massive affair became public nearly four years ago. Federal prosecutors in Boston had sought six years behind bars.

This is breaking news update. Below is an earlier AP story.

BOSTON (AP) – The mastermind of Nationwide College Admission Bribery Scandal Sentencing is set to take place on Wednesday after helping authorities secure the conviction of wealthy parents involved in his scheme to rig the selection process at top-tier schools.

Federal prosecutors are seeking six years behind bars for rick singerwho helped for more than a decade deep pocketed parents Get your often underqualified kids into some of the nation’s most selective schools with fake test scores and athletic credentials.

The scandal embarrass elite universities across the country, shines a spotlight on a secretive admissions system already seen as rigged to favor the wealthy, and leaves some parents scrambling to get their kids into the school of their choice. will do.

Singer, 62, began secretly cooperating with investigators and worked with the FBI to record hundreds of phone calls and meetings before dozens of parents and athletic coaches were arrested in March 2019. There were over 50 people including popular TV actresses and prominent businessmen. The officers eventually convicted in the case dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

In the nearly four years since the scandal hit newspaper headlines, Singer has stayed out of jail and remained largely silent in public. He was never called as a witness by prosecutors in cases that went to trial, but he will have a chance to address the court before sentencing by a judge in Boston federal court.

In a letter to the judge, Singer blamed his actions on his “win at all costs” attitude, which he said was caused by childhood trauma. His attorneys are requesting three years’ probation, or if the judge deems jail time necessary, six months behind bars.

Singer wrote, “By ignoring what was morally, ethically, and legally right in favor of winning what I believed was the college admissions ‘game’, I have lost everything.”

Singer pleaded guilty in 2019 – the same day the massive affair became public – to charges including conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Dozens of others eventually pleaded guilty to the charges, while two of the parents were convicted at trial.

Authorities in Boston later launched an investigation into the scheme. An executive under investigation for an unrelated securities fraud scheme told investigators that a Yale football coach had offered to help his daughter get into the school in exchange for cash. The Yale coach led the authorities to Singer, whose cooperation led to the discovery of the massive scam.

For years, Singer paid entrance exam administrators or proctors to inflate students’ test scores and bribed coaches to designate applicants as recruits for sports they sometimes didn’t even play. Used to demand to increase the chances of admission in school. According to prosecutors, Singer took more than $25 million in kickbacks from his clients, totaling more than $7 million in kickbacks, and used more than $15 million of his clients’ money for his own benefit.

Prosecutors wrote in court documents, “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 — through this Never seen before in the country.”

If the judge agrees with prosecutors, it would be the longest sentence ever handed down in the case. The harshest punishment ever meted out to former Georgetown University tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who was jailed for 2 1/2 years for accepting bribes of more than $3 million.

Others implicated in the scandal included the “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo GiannulliAnd ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Felicity Huffman, Penalties for parents range from probation to 15 months behind bars, although a parent who received a prison sentence remains free while appealing his or her sentence.

One parent, who was not accused of working with Singer, was acquitted of all charges stemming from allegations that she had bribed Ernst to get her daughter into school. And a judge ordered a new trial for former University of Southern California water polo Jovan Vavic, who was found guilty of taking a bribe.

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