5 Key Players in the College Admissions Scandal

5 People Involved in the College Admissions Scheme

  • Morie Tobin
  • Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith
  • William Rick Singer
  • FBI Special Agent Laura Smith
  • Lori Loughlin

The college admissions scandal includes key players who are parents, university athletics coaches and people who work in admissions or with testing services. The case involved parents for cheating on tests and bribes to ensure their children got into prestigious universities. Dozens of people have been arrested and charged with crimes ranging from racketeering to mail fraud.

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Morie Tobin

Morie Tobin was being investigated for securities fraud when he alerted law enforcement to the existence of the scheme in April 2018. In exchange for more lenient treatment, Tobin offered the information that a soccer coach at Yale had said he could get his daughter into the school in exchange for a bribe. Tobin wore a wire in a meeting with the coach, Rudolph Meredith. In June, Tobin will be sentenced in the unrelated securities fraud case, and prosecutors are recommending a lighter sentence because of his cooperation in the college admissions scandal.

Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith

Rudolph Meredith had been a respected soccer coach at Yale since the mid-1990s. According to the New York Times, in 2017, he made a deal with William Rick Singer to claim a prospective student was a recruit in exchange for $400,000. In April 2018, the FBI recorded his conversation with Tobin in which he asked for a bribe of $450,000. On accepting $4,000 wired by Tobin from an FBI bank account, federal authorities were able to charge him with wire fraud. Meredith agreed to work with the FBI and pleaded guilty to that along with related charges. He pointed the finger at Singer.

William Rick Singer

Singer ran several organizations that claimed to help people get admitted to college, and many of his clients were legitimate. However, he also recruited people to change answers on entrance exams or to take exams on the behalf of students and falsified paperwork claiming children had a disability and needed accommodations, such as extra time, on an exam. He also worked with coaches at several universities who accepted bribes to falsely claim students were recruits to their programs. Singer has pleaded guilty to federal crimes that include racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

FBI Special Agent Laura Smith

Many people in law enforcement worked hard on the college admissions scandal, including Andrew Lelling, head of the securities and financial fraud unit at the FBI and the prosecutor who announced the charges in Boston on March 12, 2019. However, the critical 204-page affidavit detailing the charges was written by Special Agent Laura Smith. As the Washington Post describes, Smith assembled the document based on interviews, document reviews, wiretaps and other sources of information.

Lori Loughlin

Lori Loughlin, a star of the Netflix show Fuller House, is one of two actresses charged in the case. Although nothing about her participation in the college admissions scandal is particularly unusual compared to other parents, her celebrity status, along with that of Felicity Huffman, made the scandal an even more prominent news item. The spectacle of seeing familiar celebrities, already considered privileged, cut corners and use their wealth to get their children into college helped fuel public outrage about the scandal.

There are many more people involved in addition to those listed above, and the ongoing investigation is sure to have far-reaching effects in the world of higher education. With the key players in the college admissions scandal identified, universities may be able to take steps toward better safeguarding their admissions practices.