By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER
BOSTON (AP) — More than 50 people were convicted in the sprawling college admissions bribery scheme that embroiled elite universities across the country and landed a slew of prominent parents and athletic coaches behind bars.
The case dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by authorities revealed a scheme to get the children of rich parents into top-tier schools with fake athletic credentials and bogus entrance exam scores.
The ringleader of the scheme, corrupt admissions consultant Rick Singer, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday, nearly four years after the first arrests were made in March 2019.
Here’s a look at the Varsity Blues investigation and where the cases stand now:
HOW DID AUTHORITIES UNCOVER THE SCHEME?
Federal investigators stumbled across the scandal after an executive they were targeting in an unrelated securities fraud scheme told them that a Yale soccer coach had offered to help his daughter get into the school in exchange for bribes. Authorities set up a sting in a Boston hotel room in April 2018 and recorded the coach, Rudy Meredith, soliciting a bribe from the father.
Investigators heard Singer’s name for the first time when Meredith mentioned him during that meeting. Meredith began cooperating that same month with investigators, who recorded phone calls and an in-person meeting between himself and Singer that revealed the extent of the bribery scheme.
Authorities then convinced Singer to cooperate with them and to record incriminating phone calls and in-person meetings with those involved with his scheme. His cooperation helped prosecutors build the case against dozens of parents, coaches and others.