Thursday, April 22, 2021

Former UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo agrees to plea deal in admissions scam

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Jorge Salcedo, the former head coach of the UCLA men’s soccer team, has agreed to plead guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in connection to a nationwide college admissions scandal, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement Tuesday Salcedo, 47, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, a charge stemming from his involvement in the “Varsity Blues” scandal.

Salcedo pleaded not guilty to the charge in March 2019.

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According to his plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend one year of supervised release, a fine, forfeiture of $200,000 and restitution. Salcedo faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Salcedo received $200,000 in bribes for agreeing to facilitate the admission of two students to the university as athlete recruits.

According to court documents, Salcedo agreed in 2016 with William “Rick” Singer, former head UCLA women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin and others, to gain admittance to the university for the daughter of Davina and Bruce Isackson in exchange for $100,000.

In 2018, he accepted a $100,000 bribe from Singer to recruit the son of his client, Xiaoning Sui, to the UCLA men’s soccer team although he’d never played competitive soccer, prosecutors said.

Khosroshahin, Davina, Bruce and Sui have all pleaded guilty for their involvement in the scandal that centered around Singer, the former owner of a for-profit college entrance company who pleaded guilty to charges last year that included racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

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More than 50 people have been charged in connection to the scandal, including actress Felicity Huffmanwho served 11 days of her 14-day prison sentence for paying $15,000 to artificially inflate her daughter’s college entrance test scores.

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