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50 individuals arrested in college cheating scandal

BOSTON, Ill. WRBL - A nationwide college admissions scandal has rocked the world of higher education in the United States. 50 individuals ranging from celebrities to CEOs and college coaches have all been named as defendants in the case, launched by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Five men are named by the DoJ as the ring leaders in this massive case. Those individuals are William Rick Singer of Newport Beach, Calif., the owner of the Edge College and Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundaiton, Mark Riddell of Palmetto, Fla., the now-former Director of College Entrance Exam Preparation for the IMG Academy, Rudolph "Rudy" Meredith of Madison, Conn., a former head women's soccer coach at Yale University, John Vandemoer of Stanford, Calif., a former sailing coach at Sanford University, and David Sidoo of Vancouver, Canada, a businessman and philanthropist.

Among the charges are "Information with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud as well as honest services wire fraud," with the five defendants facing multiple combinations of these charges.

The remaining defendants were charged with similar albeit smaller crimes, including "racketeering conspiracy" and "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud," with the majority of defendants facing the latter charge.

A full list of defendants can be found below along with their alleged crimes, from the DoJ:

  1. William Rick Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice.  He is scheduled to plead guilty in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.;
  2. Mark Riddell, 36, of Palmetto, Fla., was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering;
  3. Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, of Madison, Conn., the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud as well as honest services wire fraud;  
  4. John Vandemoer, 41, of Stanford, Calif., the former sailing coach at Stanford University, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy and is expected to plead guilty in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.;
  5. David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, was charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sidoo was arrested on Friday, March 8th in San Jose, Calif., and appeared in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday. A date for his initial appearance in federal court in Boston has not yet been scheduled.  

The following defendants were charged in an indictment with racketeering conspiracy:

  1. Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., director of a private elementary and high school in Los Angeles and a test administrator for the College Board and ACT;
  2. Gordon Ernst, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University;
  3. William Ferguson, 48, of Winston-Salem, N.C., former women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University;
  4. Martin Fox, 62, of Houston, Texas, president of a private tennis academy in Houston;
  5. Donna Heinel, 57, of Long Beach, Calif., the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California;
  6. Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, Calif., former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
  7. Ali Khoroshahin, 49, of Fountain Valley, Calif., former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
  8. Steven Masera, 69, of Folsom, Calif., accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
  9. Jorge Salcedo, 46, of Los Angeles, Calif., former head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles;
  10. Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, Calif., employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
  11. Jovan Vavic, 57, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., former water polo coach at the University of Southern California;
  12. Niki Williams, 44, of Houston, Texas, assistant teacher at a Houston high school and test administrator for the College Board and ACT.

The following defendant was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud:

  1. Michael Center, 54, of Austin Texas, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin

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

  1. Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., the founder and chairman of a food and beverage packaging company;
  2. Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
  3. Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, Nev., the former senior executive of a resort and casino operator in Macau, China;
  4. Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, Calif., an executive at a retail merchandising firm;
  5. Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, Calif., an entrepreneur and investor;
  6. Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the CEO of a boutique marketing company;
  7. Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., co-chairman of an international law firm based in New York City;
  8. I-Hin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, Calif., operates a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry;
  9. Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
  10. Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
  11. Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., founder and CEO of real estate development firm;
  12. Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, Calif., fashion designer;
  13. Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
  14. Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, Calif., founder, chairman and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company;
  15. Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., former CEO of investment management company;
  16. Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress;
  17. Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., owner of wine vineyards;
  18. Bruce Isackson, 61, of Hillsborough, Calif., president of a real estate development firm;
  19. Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif.;
  20. Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, Calif., former executive of a large food manufacturer; 
  21. Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, Nev., owner and president of a media company;
  22. Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., co-owner of jewelry business;
  23. Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress;
  24. Toby MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, Calif., former senior executive at a title insurance company;
  25. William McGlashan Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, Calif., senior executive at a global equity firm;
  26. Marci Palatella, 63, of Healdsburg, Calif., CEO of a liquor distribution company;
  27. Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., packaged food entrepreneur;
  28. Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., executive at privately held provider of outsourced sales teams;
  29. Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., founder and CEO of provider of drinking and wastewater systems;
  30. John Wilson, 59, of Hyannis Port, Mass., founder and CEO of private equity and real estate development firm;
  31. Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, Calif., an associate professor of dentistry; and
  32. Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, Fla., founder and CEO of private investment firm.

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