- The Beijing-based family of Yusi Zhao was revealed to be the college admissions scandal’s biggest client on Monday, having paid $US6.5 million to get their daughter into Stanford University.
- Their family lawyer released a statement from Zhao’s mother, only identified as Mrs. Zhao, saying she was tricked into believing the $US6.5 million she paid was a donation to Stanford.
- Mrs. Zhao believes her daughter is a victim of the college admissions scandal, her lawyer said.
- Zhao’s father is Tao Zhao, the chairman and co-founder of Shandong Buchang, a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical company based in China.
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The mother of a Chinese family who were the college admissions scandal’s biggest clients claims she was tricked into believing the $US6.5 million she paid ringleader William “Rick” Singer to get her daughter into Stanford University was a donation to the school.
The woman, only identified as Mrs. Zhao, believes her daughter, Yusi Zhao, was a victim of the scam, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sources familiar with the case told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday Yusi Zhao’s Beijing-based family was the scheme’s largest clients.
Zhao’s father is Tao Zhao, the chairman and co-founder of Shandong Buchang, a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical company based in China, the Stanford Daily reported.
Zhao’s family lawyer, William Law, told the LA Times that Yusi, who also goes by Molly, was admitted into Stanford in March 2017. Her family gave Singer’s charity foundation $US6.5 million the following month.
The lawyer said Singer told the Zhao family that the money would go toward Stanford staff salaries and scholarships for underprivileged students.
Prosecutors have said Singer’s foundation was a sham, and funds were regularly used to bribe college coaches and entrance exam administrators to help students get into elite universities.
“Mrs. Zhao has come to realise she has been misled, her generosity has been taken advantage of and her daughter has fallen victim to the scam,” Law said, adding that Mrs. Zhao is “shocked and deeply disturbed.”
Law said the payment was believed to be legitimate and was made “in the same nature” as donations that wealthy families are known for making at universities.
“This generous act was not only done for the good of the school and its students, but also done out of the love and support of Yusi by a caring mother,” Law said.
- Read more:
- Prosecutors say even more people could be charged in the college admissions scandal, and parents are scared
- The ringleader of the college admissions scandal is spending his days at a pool club in Florida as he awaits sentencing in the scheme
- The two biggest clients of the college admissions scandal were reportedly families from China
- Here’s the full list of people charged in the college admissions cheating scandal, and who has pleaded guilty so far
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