Friday, October 23, 2020

College Bribery Scandal: Executive Sentenced To Four Months For Bribing Son’s Way Into USC

-

A Los Angeles business executive was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for paying $250,000 to get his son admitted to the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit.

Devin Sloane, 53, pleaded guilty in May to a single count of fraud and conspiracy. He is the second parent sentenced in a sweeping college admissions scandal that has ensnared dozens of wealthy mothers and fathers.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani also ordered Sloane to perform 500 hours of community service over two years of supervised release and pay a fine of $95,000.

Authorities say Sloane helped fabricate documents depicting his son as an international water polo star even though he had never played the sport. He bought water polo gear online, investigators found, and staged action photos of his son in the family’s swimming pool.

- Advertisement -

Sloane is a graduate of USC and founder of the Los Angeles water systems company AquaTecture.

“There are no words to justify my behavior nor will I offer any excuses or justification,” he said Tuesday with tears in his eyes. “The crime I committed is unacceptable. In my heart and my soul I want what’s best for my son. I realize now my actions were the antithesis of that.”

He was accused of paying $200,000 to a sham charity operated by William “Rick” Singer , an admissions consultant at the center of the scheme, and $50,000 to an account controlled by Donna Heinel, a former USC athletics official. Sloane previously said he accepts responsibility for his crime but has argued he was drawn into the scheme by Singer, who provided a year of legitimate counseling before mentioning the scheme.

Singer pleaded guilty in March and agreed to work with authorities. Heinel is accused of accepting bribes to get students admitted as fake athletic recruits. She has pleaded not guilty.

- Advertisement -

Last week, “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman became the first parent sentenced in the scheme after admitting to paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison, 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine.

Talwani challenged the idea that parents would pursue the admissions or test scheme out of a desire to help their children.

“The crime that’s at issue in all of these cases is not basic care-taking for your child. It’s not getting your child food or clothing. It’s not even getting your child a college education,” she said. “It’s getting your child into a college that might be called exclusive. Are they doing that for their children or are they doing it for their own status?”

Prosecutors said Sloane deserved prison time because he enlisted his son in the scheme, stole an admissions spot from another student, and failed to take full responsibility by blaming Singer.

“Prison is necessary here as a great leveler between rich and poor,” federal prosecutor Eric Rosen said Tuesday.

He added that Sloane’s deceit is worse than Huffman’s.

“Huffman kept her child out of the crime, preferring to not let her know what was going on,” he said. “The defendant, by contrast, literally threw his son into the family pool.”

Several others paid similar sums to get their children into other elite schools, authorities said, while some paid as much as $400,000 per student.

Sloane’s son, Matteo, was accepted to USC in 2018. It’s unclear if he still attends the school. As of this August, USC said it had not made a decision regarding students whose families were accused in the admission scheme.

Fifteen parents have pleaded guilty, while 19 are fighting the charges, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC as fake athletes.

Several other parents are scheduled to be sentenced in coming weeks, including Stephen Semprevivo , who faces sentencing Thursday on charges that he paid $400,000 to get his son into Georgetown University.

MUST READ

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Mozambique seeks prosecution of ex-Credit Suisse bankers implicated in debt scandal

Mozambique's Attorney General's Office said on Wednesday it will seek the extradition of three former Credit Suisse CSGN.S bankers implicated in a $2 billion debt scandal...

Federal prosecutors seek 24-30 months in prison for ex-Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard in bribery case

Because of the seriousness of the bribery scheme in which she was involved, former Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard should go to federal prison for 24 to...

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘enabled’ money laundering

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has conceded the casino giant facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino, but blamed it on "ineptitude" rather than...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks