The college admissions scandal came to the FBI by accident, when an unrelated fraud suspect revealed it in a bid for leniency, report says

f11photo/ShutterstockYale University. Thirty-three parents are accused of paying a collective $US25 million to William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network, to boost their children’s chances of getting accepted into an elite university.
  • The discovery of the college admissions scandal only came to light after a suspect in a separate FBI case revealed it, hoping for leniency, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The tip reportedly led the FBI to Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, who is accused of taking a $US400,000 bribe to help a student gain admission.
  • On Tuesday, federal authorities charged 50 people, including Hollywood actors, athletic coaches, and business leaders, over the scandal.
  • Some parents reportedly paid William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network at the centre of the scandal, up to $US6.5 million to get their children into top schools.

The US college admissions scandal only came to light because a FBI suspect in a separate case sold out to authorities in the hope they’d be lenient, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper said that an unnamed financial executive in an unrelated fraud probe, told agents about the scam in an attempt to secure leniency for himself.

The Journal said:

“Federal authorities were looking into a securities fraud case in spring 2018 when a person involved, a financial executive hoping for leniency, said he had information of great interest on another matter, according to people familiar with the investigation.”

William rick singer boston college admissions scandalPhoto by Scott Eisen/Getty ImagesWilliam ‘Rick’ Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019.

The report does not say whether the executive received any leniency in exchange for the tip.

On Tuesday, the US Attorneys office charged dozens of people – including Hollywood actors, college athletic coaches, and business leaders – in a college admissions bribery scandal.


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33 parents are accused of paying a collective $US25 million to William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network, to boost their children’s chances of getting accepted into an elite university. 50 people were charged in total.

Harvard University Admissions Financial Aid Office Campus StudentGlen Cooper/Getty ImagesA freshman enters the Admissions Building at Harvard University September 12, 2006 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bribes reportedly cost as much as $US6.5 million and fell into two schemes.

The first involved having their children pose as athletes to gain an easier route into elite colleges.

The second involved stand-ins taking SAT and ACT exams for their children.

According to the Journal, the tip-off pointed the FBI to Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, who is accused of taking a $US400,000 bribe to get a girl into Yale by pretending she was a star soccer player.

Rick singer college scandalRick Singer/FacebookWilliam ‘Rick’ Singer is the owner of Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation.

The girl’s family reportedly paid Singer $US1.2 million to orchestrate the deal.


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The Journal said authorities are not yet done indicting people, and could “implicate more coaches and parents” soon.

Singer has been charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice by the US Attorneys office.

Read more about the college admissions scandal here.

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