The former TPG executive charged in the college-admissions scandal is fighting to keep his passport so he can go on spring break

  • The former TPG executive Bill McGlashan, who was charged as part of the wide-ranging college-admissions scandal earlier this month, said in a court filing on Wednesday that he should be allowed to keep his passport and travel internationally.
  • The court filing was the first time McGlashan’s lawyers have publicly hinted at their defence strategy. He was charged with mail fraud and accused of paying $US50,000 to a charity so that his son’s standardised test would be doctored.
  • In Wednesday’s court filing, McGlashan’s lawyers said his son has long been allowed extra time for tests because of diagnosed learning disabilities and that he did not pay for college acceptances via a “side door,” as other parents have been accused of doing.

William “Bill” McGlashan, the former TPG executive charged in the college-admissions scandal earlier this month, wants to go on spring break.

On Wednesday, his lawyers filed a memo to change his release conditions, which included $US1 million bail, so that he could keep his passport and travel internationally. If the judge accepts the changes, McGlashan, who is out on bond, could attend “a long-planned family trip over his children’s scheduled school break in April 2019” and future business trips. The filing was the first time his legal team has publicly hinted at defence strategies.

His spokesman declined further comment.


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McGlashan was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. He has been accused of donating $US50,000 to a nonprofit “with the understanding” that the college consultant William “Rick” Singer would arrange for someone to administer and then correct his son’s ACT at a West Hollywood, California, testing center that Singer “controlled,” according to the indictment. His 18-year old son, who, according to the indictment, did not know about the scheme, submitted his ACT score of 34 to Northeastern University in October. His son has withdrawn his college applications, according to the filing.

In Wednesday’s request to modify McGlashan’s release conditions, his lawyers cited his close professional and personal ties to California, indicating that he is not a flight risk.

They also said that the charge against McGlashan is “different than those in many of the related cases” because his son was diagnosed with learning disabilities by a pediatric neuropsychologist in eighth grade and long had extra accommodations, including extra test time. The Wednesday memo said that the original criminal complaint did not include allegations that the extra time was unwarranted.


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“Mr. McGlashan is alleged to have made a single payment of $US50,000, and there is no allegation that Mr. McGlashan’s son ever attended a university based on any of the alleged conduct,” his lawyers wrote in the memo. “And that is because Mr. McGlashan did not pay for the use of a so-called ‘side door’ to obtain admission for his son at USC or any other college. In fact, Mr. McGlashan’s son has not even graduated high school, and he withdrew his college applications.”

The Wednesday memo did not address other parts of the original complaint, including accusations that McGlashan created a fake athletic profile for his son to gain admission to the University of Southern California. Singer referred to this scheme as a “side door” on a wiretapped call with McGlashan. Singer said that McGlashan would be notified through an unofficial letter of his son’s acceptance, at which time he would need to write a $US50,000 check to “Women’s Athletics,” later adding, “and then the other 200 comes in March, after you get your official, official letter.”

There is no indication in the criminal complaint that McGlashan paid more than $US50,000 to the nonprofit.

Two weeks ago, McGlashan left his post at TPG. The firm said he was fired, while McGlashan said he quit. McGlashan is the founder and former managing partner of TPG Growth, which makes investments in growth equity and middle-market buyouts. He’s also a cofounder and CEO of the Rise Fund, an investment fund focused on companies trying to tackle social and environmental issues.


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At a Wednesday conference at Bloomberg, TPG co-CEO Jon Winkelried said the original news was “pretty shocking.”

“Any time something like this happens, it sort of takes your breath away for a minute,” he said. Investors “naturally have a lot of questions. We’ve undertaken an investigation internally to make sure that none of the things Bill was engaged in were bleeding into the business.”

Winkelried said the firm, which allowed investors to pull money from the second impact fund, would communicate the results of that investigation to investors.

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