Monday, January 18, 2021

Test-taking whiz in college admissions scam pleads guilty

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Test-taking whiz Mark Riddell, 36 of Florida pleaded guilty Friday to acing the ACT and SAT exams in exchange for money in the ongoing college admission scam case.

Riddell, who has been cooperating with authorities since February in the hopes of getting a lesser sentence, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges.

From 2011 through February 2019, Riddell conspired with William “Rick” Singer and others to cheat on college entrance exams in the United States and Canada. As part of the scheme, Riddell secretly took college entrance exams in place of students, or corrected the students’ answers after they had taken the exam.

Prosecutors said Singer told Riddell not to get too high of a score to prevent them from getting caught.

The Harvard graduate would also counsel his clients to seek extended time on the exams, including by having their children purport to have learning disabilities. Once the extended time was granted, Singer told the clients to change the location of the exams to locations in Texas or California.

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