Entrance-exam official agrees to plead guilty in U.S. college cheating scandal

By REUTERS
October 2, 2019 01:22
2 minute read.
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

An administrator tied to the U.S. college cheating scandal has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge and give information to authorities on other people involved in the scheme, according to court papers filed on Tuesday.

Igor Dvorskiy, 53, is accused of allowing cheating on college entrance exams he administered in the Los Angeles area.Prosecutors will ask a federal judge in Boston, where the case is being heard, to give Dvorskiy a sentence of two years in prison, which is at the low end of what he could have faced if found guilty at trial, according to the plea agreement.

Dvorskiy's attorney, Melissa Weinberger, did not respond to requests for comment.

In all, 50 celebrities, business people, athletic coaches and others have been charged in the scandal, in which parents allegedly paid bribes to get their children into prestigious universities.

Revelations about the plot sent shockwaves through the academic world and the college prep industry when prosecutors filed charges in March.

Several other people tied to the scheme have pleaded guilty to conspiracy or other charges.

FAKE ATHLETIC RECRUITS

William "Rick" Singer, the California college admissions consultant at the center of the plot, pleaded guilty in March to charges that he facilitated the cheating and helped bribe university sports coaches to present clients' children as fake athletic recruits. He is awaiting sentencing.

Singer paid bribes to Dvorskiy, typically about $10,000 per high school student, and in return Dvorskiy allowed an adult skilled at acing the college entrance exam to be tested in place of students, according to an indictment filed in court in March.

A hearing has not yet been scheduled for Dvorskiy to plead guilty under the terms of his agreement with prosecutors.

"Defendant agrees to cooperate fully with law enforcement agents and government attorneys," according to a cooperation agreement filed in court and signed by prosecutors, Dvorskiy and his attorney.

It added that Dvorskiy would not "attempt to protect any person or entity through false information or omission."

Three parents of college students who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges have already been sentenced in the case.

They are Emmy-winning actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in the television comedy "Desperate Housewives" and last month received a two-week prison sentence, and two businessmen who each received four-month sentences.

In addition, Huffman was fined $30,000 and the businessmen were fined $95,000 and $100,000 respectively.

A number of other parents have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges and are awaiting trial, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli.


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