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William Rick Singer
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    (circa 1960- )
    Founder of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation
    Wrote 'Getting In: Gaining Admission to the College of Your Choice' (2014)
    Central figure in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal
    Unethically facilitated college admissions for over 750 families
    Collected $25 million from parents of college applicants (2011-18)
    Plead guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, tax evasion, and obstruction of justice (March 12, 2019)
    He was fired as a boys’ basketball coach for abusive behavior towards the refs (1988).
    He bribed college coaches to falsely identify students as recruits for their sports.
    He would sometimes bolster a student’s non-existent sports credentials by photoshopping their picture into a stock athletics photo.
    He created a fake charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, to launder the bribe money.
    For a price ($4-$5,000), he would provide fake reports from a psychologist certifying that a student had a learning disability, thus giving them accommodations, such as extra time, when taking the SAT and ACT college entrance tests.
    He told clients to invent travel plans so their children’s tests could be moved to one of two test centers (one in Houston, one in West Hollywood) where he had bribed the test administrators.
    Sometimes he had someone pose as a client’s kid and take the test.
    Sometimes he had a proctor change the answers after the test had been completed.
    He agreed to help prosecutors build cases against his clients, then tipped off several clients that he was wearing a wire. (Which resulted in obstruction of justice charges being filed against him.)
    The clients’ kids that he got into college took spots away from more qualified students.
    Whatever happened to the traditional way of rich people getting their underqualified kids into elite colleges by making a large donation to the school? (Hey, it was good enough to get Jared Kushner into Harvard.)
    A former colleague from his coaching days recalled, ‘He was the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back to help, he was that generous. He was generous to a fault, even to strangers.’
    Getting into college through him was generally a lot cheaper than the amount someone would have to donate to get a college to take a second look at their kid.
    He said, ‘There is a front door which means you get in on your own. The back door is through institutional advancement, which is 10 times as much money. And I’ve created this side door in.’
    As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to pay a $3.4 million judgment and to forfeit two bank accounts and several investments held by Key Worldwide.

Credit: C. Fishel

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