The 2019 college admissions scandal is a shocking example of upper class chicanery — one soon to be dramatized by a Lifetime movie aptly titled The College Admissions Scandal. At the center of it all is William “Rick” Singer, the man considered to be the mastermind behind the whole scheme. News continues to roll in about the parents involved in the trial, but we’ve heard few updates about Singer since he pled guilty to money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of justice, and tax evasion in March. Bustle reached out to Singer’s lawyer for comment but did not hear back at the time of publication, so here’s what we’ve culled from the internet.
As detailed by USA Today, Singer is a former athlete turned sports coach turned college counselor who marketed his private business, The Key, to wealthy elites with the promise of ensuring their child got into any top tier school. He did this by bribing sports coaches and test proctors to falsify athletic participation and lie about high test scores. The money he received in exchange was then laundered through his nonprofit, Key Worldwide Foundation, and played off as charitable donations.
Described by USA as a competitive “go-getter,” Singer realized that the business of opening “side doors” for rich families was rather lucrative early on. A 204-page FBI affidavit revealed that The Key had its first allegation of bribery in 2008, just two months after it was incorporated. Singer’s methods ranged from Photoshopping kids into sports games to even allegedly paying someone to take the SATs for the students. According to USA Today, Singer “boasted” that he had helped nearly 800 upper class students get into college using these methods.
The news of the scandal broke in March, after a federal indictment named over 50 people in the case, including Singer, 33 parents, and over 13 coaches and associates. In the intervening months, seven people have been sentenced to varying degrees of prison time, including actor Felicity Huffman, who pled guilty to fraud and received 14 days in jail, one year of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine.
Singer, for his part, has largely stayed out of the public eye. According to the official United States District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, after he pled guilty he “agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation.” They simply note that “the defendant has been released on conditions,” which includes a $500,000 bond. The last note on his file says that Singer has a scheduled telephone conference with Judge Zobel, the judge in charge of handling many of the cases, on Oct. 23.
Singer was scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 19, but so far there has been no news that that sentencing has moved forward, and the phone call with Judge Zobel implies that proceedings are currently stalled. That’s about as we know about Singer’s case: USA Today notes that he’s repeatedly declined interviews with the press through his attorney, and even maintained silence when directly confronted by a TMZ video crew in Florida last month.
According to CNN, Singer faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison, three years supervised release, and a $1.25 million fine.