Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Former Yale Soccer Coach Sentenced to Prison For Accepting Nearly $1 Million In Bribes

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A former Yale University women’s soccer coach, who cooperated with authorities investigating the US college admissions scandal, has been sentenced to five months in prison for accepting bribes to help parents get their children into Ivy League schools.

Rudolph Meredith, whose decision to cooperate helped investigators discover the mastermind of the scheme, was sentenced by US District Judge Mark Wolf in Boston on Wednesday after pleading guilty in 2019 to conspiracy and fraud charges.

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Meredith was sentenced to prison despite prosecutors recommending the 54-year-old receive a non-custodial sentence after becoming a key witness in the “Operation Varsity Blues” investigation.

In court documents, Meredith’s lawyers said he assisted law enforcement to “atone for his inexcusable lapses of judgement”.

Meredith was also ordered to pay a $US19,000 ($30,000) fine and forfeit more than $US557,000.

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The investigation centred on William “Rick” Singer, a California college admissions consultant who admitted in 2019 to facilitating college entrance exam cheating and bribing coaches to secure his clients’ children’s admission as phoney athletes.

The investigation led 51 people to plead guilty, including actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

Singer faces sentencing in January.

Two parents were convicted in one trial, while another was acquitted in June.

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Prosecutors said from 2015 and 2018, Meredith accepted $US860,000 from Singer in exchange for designating the children of wealthy parents as soccer recruits or attempting to facilitate their admission to Yale by other means.

Separately, Meredith also agreed to accept a $US450,000 bribe directly from a California businessman without Singer’s involvement to help his daughter gain admission.

An unrelated stock fraud investigation involving that businessman led prosecutors to learn about Meredith, who in turn helped them uncover Singer’s vast scheme.

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