New details have emerged on how prosecutors helped uncover what is being called the “largest college admissions scam ever”. In addition, new celebrity names, including golfer Phil Mickelson, are being added to the list of those who used the service involved in brokering bribes to prestigious universities like Yale and Stanford.
The scam was uncovered due to a tip that was given to the SEC by Morrie Tobin, a Los Angeles financial executive who was being charged for a financial pump and dump scheme at the time. Tobin “was being investigated in a securities fraud case,” when he tipped off the government, seeking leniency, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
Tobin is a Yale alumnus, who said that the school’s women’s soccer coach had sought out a bribe in order to get his daughter into the school. As a result of the tip, regulators were able to uncover the massive scandal. Tobin is awaiting sentencing in his securities fraud case that he signed a plea deal for last November.
Tobin reportedly wore a wire to help catch Rudy Meredith, Yale’s Women’s Soccer coach. He met with Meredith in a hotel room in Boston during April 2018, where the coach said he could get Tobin’s daughter on the team for $450,000. Meredith also helped another California family’s daughter make the team after he was paid $400,000, according to the report.
Separately, golfer Phil Mickelson admitted he had used the bribery company to “guide [him] through the college admission process” in a Tweet. His name was not part of the case, and a Bloomberg article notes that he was one of the legitimate clients of the company in question.
Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admission process. We are shocked by the revelations of these events. Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) March 14, 2019
In addition, Bill McGlashan, co-founder and managing partner at TPG Growth, has resigned from his position after being arrested in conjunction with the scandal. McGlashan spent $250,000 on “illegal schemes to get his son admitted to college” according to reports.
The Wrap reported that he was involved in:
…hiring a proctor to improve his son’s answers on the ACT test before they were submitted and “conspiring to bribe” USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heimel “to facilitate his son’s admission to USC as a recruited athlete.” He even created a fake profile of his lacrosse-playing son as a football kicker as part of the scheme, court documents say.
Earlier on Thursday we reported that the universities involved were now facing class action lawsuits from their students. Last night, we also reported on major tax implications that could be waiting for the parents involved – including potential civil tax fraud penalties and interest charges on any bribe amounts they wrote off.
Meredith also reportedly worked with William Rick Singer, the man at the center of the scheme. Yesterday morning, we unveiled that William Rick Singer was revealed as the man who brokered and facilitated many of the bribes.
Singer is called a “self described serial entrepreneur” who appeared to have found his niche in helping young people get into college. He was the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, the institution that helped broker bribes between the uber-wealthy and prestigious colleges. According to the company’s website, his goal was to “help alleviate the anxiety of getting into college” because he “has seen first hand the stress that the college admissions and athletics recruiting process can put on a family.”
Following charges, Singer pled guilty to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. He is looking at between 15 and 19 1/2 years in prison for his crimes. Our original take on the scandal can be read here.