L.A, 2021-12-10 13:16:36. Latest parents plead guilty in college bribery scandal
BOSTON – Federal prosecutors said the latest parent implicated in Operation Varsity Blues — the captivating nationwide bribery scandal for college admissions — has agreed to plead guilty.
Authorities said I-Hsin “Joey” Chen, 67, of Newport Beach, California, paid $75,000 to have someone mark his son’s answers on the college entrance exam. Under the plea deal, the owner of the shipping industry’s warehousing company will plead guilty to wire fraud and honest services wire fraud in exchange for a nine-week prison sentence, according to a statement Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston.
Prosecutors said the terms of the deal also call for Chen to spend a year on probation, perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $75,000 fine.
Prosecutors said Chen paid William “Rick” Singer, a college admissions counselor and scheme leader, $75,000 to bribe a test director to allow a proctor to change his son’s ACT test answers and increase his scores.
Singer, the probation officer, and the observer have all pleaded guilty in relation to their roles and are awaiting sentencing.
The plot involved dozens of famous and wealthy parents, including actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who paid big bribes to help their undeserving children get accepted into elite American universities with false test scores or false athletic achievements.
Prosecutors said Chen would be the 38th and final parent to either plead guilty or be indicted in the case, which has also caught several college coaches and athletic directors.
Chen’s trial was scheduled for January 13. No date has been set for the hearing, which is subject to court approval.
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