College Scandal Mastermind Finally Learns His Fate

Prosecutors sought 6 years for Rick Singer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 29, 2022 4:02 PM CST
Updated Jan 4, 2023 2:54 PM CST
College Scandal Figure: I'm Jobless, Living in Trailer Park
William "Rick" Singer departs federal court in Boston in this 2019 file photo.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
UPDATE Jan 4, 2023 2:54 PM CST

The mastermind of the college admissions cheating scandal was sentenced to more than three years in prison Wednesday—nearly four years after he pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy. William "Rick" Singer, who admitted bribing coaches and exam administrators to get the children of the wealthy into elite colleges, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison, the Wall Street Journal reports. Prosecutors had sought six years. The AP reports that it's the longest of more than 50 sentences handed down in the scandal, though it could have been much longer if Singer, who pleaded guilty to four felonies in March 2019, hadn't cooperated with investigators and helped authorities build a case against parents, coaches, and others involved in the scheme.

Dec 29, 2022 4:02 PM CST

The consultant at the center of the nationwide college admissions scandal blamed his “winning at all costs” attitude for his actions in a letter to the judge scheduled to sentence him next week. William “Rick” Singer, 62, who pleaded guilty in March 2019 to charges including racketeering conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 4 in US District Court in Boston, per the AP. In documents submitted to the court on Wednesday, prosecutors asked the judge to give Singer six years, which would be by far the longest sentence in the case. Defense attorneys asked for a year of home confinement, or a maximum of six months behind bars.

“For most of my life, if not all of it, I have thrived on winning at all costs," Singer wrote in a letter included in his defense's sentencing memorandum. “My moral compass was broken and, increasingly over time, choosing right over wrong became less important than doing whatever had to be done to be recognized as the ‘best.'” He expressed remorse in the letter, said he now lives in a trailer park for seniors and can't get a job despite more than 1,000 attempts. By getting caught, he has been provided “the opportunity for insight, atonement, and redemption," he wrote.

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Singer took in more than $25 million from his clients, paid bribes totaling more than $7 million, and used more than $15 million of his clients’ money for his own benefit, according to prosecutors, who said his pivotal role in the scandal merits a six-year sentence. More than 50 people, including parents, coaches, and others, have already been convicted in the case that involved bribes, embellished athletic accomplishments, and entrance exam cheating to get often undeserving children from wealthy families into some of the most selective universities in the US. (Celeb Lori Loughlin was among those caught up in the scandal.)

(More college admissions bribery scandal stories.)

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