Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Get into College for a ransom scandal

It is a scandal involving rich celebs yes, but it’s much bigger. . .those we know about in today’s stories  “conspired with others known and unknown”. Before it rolls into history (came out on March 13—there’s little being said today) there will be hundreds, and probably a few college presidents.  Someone will be squeezed to tell all.

“American higher education, from the ivy covered walls of Yale and Georgetown to the sun drenched campuses of USC and Stanford, was rocked Tuesday by a federal racketeering case that alleges celebrities and other wealthy parents funneled millions through an Orange County non-profit foundation in return for fraudulent entrance test scores and college admission facilitated by corrupt coaches and athletic department administrators.”

I think the whole College Board/SAT/ACT is a scandal—so many kids get special tutoring, and it’s not illegal, those are valid, incorporated legal companies that do this, but many cannot afford it, and I’m sure some can be bought and stand-ins are used.

And how about the “volunteer” requirement that high schools have and colleges request—supposedly to even the playing field so less academically qualified have something to show.  Ha.  The “best” students also garner that area and need that to get into the Ivy League or the California system.  If it’s “volunteer” why is it required? And the lower or middle class kids who need to work can’t afford to take “free” internships.   What about those students who are shy or have poor social skills, but are good in academics—they can flunk “volunteering.”

And the whole athletic business.  That was one of the biggest outrages in this current scandal, but how many others have done this not connected to this particular named crook William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation.  Photoshopping faces onto someone else’s body!  Coaches heads are rolling.

In this scandal, millions of dollars changed hands, but what about the kids who can’t attend out of state colleges because it’s too expensive, but illegals can attend? What about those who claim they are 1/32 black or Indian and are bumped ahead of the poor white teen from Appalachia?  This scandal involves people who can afford  to drop $100,000 to get kiddo into Yale or Harvard or Dartmouth, but we have all sorts of “jump ahead in line” from illegal immigration, to “who do you know who can drop your name to  HR” to donating to your alma mater a few years before junior wants to enroll. 

And what about colleges/universities using rich Nigerian and Egyptian foreign students to claim on their “diversity” quota or recruiting black students who could do well at OSU-Marion campus but will flunk out with debt at Yale, just so the school doesn’t get in hot water with government regulations. 

The money game of the higher education system  is a whole lot bigger than this scandal.

Those named:

“The following were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud:

Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a food and beverage packaging company.

Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York.

Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, the former senior executive of resort and casino operator of Wynn Macau resort in Macau, China.

Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, an executive at a retail merchandising firm.

Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, an entrepreneur and investor.

Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, California, founder and CEO of Trendera boutique marketing company.

Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Connecticut, co-chairman of New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher, an international law firm.

I-Hin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, California, operates a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry.

Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, California.

Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, California.

Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, California, founder and CEO of real estate development firm Crown Realty & Development.

Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, fashion designer and founder of Mossimo fashion company (also married to Lori Loughlin).

Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, California.

Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, California, founder, chairman and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, a publicly traded specialty finance company.

Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, California, former CEO of investment management company Pacific Investment Management Co.

Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, actress.

Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, owner of wine vineyards in Napa Valley and listed as co-founder of the Quintessa vineyard estate.

Bruce Isackson, 61, of Hillsborough, California, president of a real estate development firm WP Investments.

Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, California.

Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, California, former executive of a large food manufacturer.

Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, owner and president of First Busey, a media company.

Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, California, co-owner of jewelry business.

Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, actress.

Toby MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, California, former senior executive at a title insurance company.

William McGlashan Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, California, senior executive at a global equity firm TPG Capital.

Marci Palatella, 63, of Healdsburg, California, CEO of a liquor distribution company.

Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, California, president and co-founder of Elena's Food Specialties.

Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, executive at Cydcor, a privately held provider of outsourced sales teams.

Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, founder and CEO of aquaTECTURE LLC, a provider of drinking and wastewater systems.

John Wilson, 59, of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, founder and CEO of private equity and real estate development firm.

Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, California, an associate professor of dentistry.

Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, founder and CEO of private investment firm Dragon Global.”


According to Sports Illustrated, “Among coaches indicted are Stanford's sailing coach John Vandemoer, former Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith, former Georgetown tennis coach Gordie Ernst, current Texas men's tennis coach Michael Center and current UCLA men's soccer coach Jorge Salcedo. Ernst, who is accused of taking multiple six-figure cash bribes to admit fake recruits, resigned without explanation from Georgetown last summer. He is now coaching at Rhode Island. . . Wake Forest volleyball coach William "Bill" Ferguson was indicted in the scheme on the same charges as Vandemoer.”

“Four USC athletics staff members were also charged including the Trojans former women's soccer head coach Ali Khosroshahin, former women's soccer assistant coach Laura Janke and current USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel and water polo head coach Jovan Vavic. Heinel and Vavic were fired as a result.

Mark Riddell, the Director of College Entrance Exam Preparation at IMG Academy, a private college preparatory school and sports academy in Bradenton, Fla., has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud alongside charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

The Mercury News reports: “In April 2016, Giannulli and Laughlin expressed concerns about their older daughter’s “academic qualifications” for USC after meeting with a college counselor, as detailed in a 204-page federal complaint

But Heinel presented their daughter as a prospective member of USC’s women’s crew team in a meeting with the university’s subcommittee for athletic admissions later that fall.

The daughter posed for a photo on an ergometer, a rowing machine, as part of an elaborate effort to demonstrate her participation in the sport despite no experience.

Giannulli sent Heinel $50,000 days later, and she was admitted.

The following year, Giannulli and Laughlin made a similar effort for their younger daughters. In this instance, they presented her as a crew coxswain for the L.A. Marina Club team and also had a photo taken of her on an ergometer.

In exchange for her admittance, Giannulli again sent Heinel $50,000.”

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