Hollywood stars the nation’s rich elite including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman turned to college prep expert William Rick Singer.
Singer ensured that well-heeled youngsters were admitted to the country’s top colleges as part of what prosecutors claim was a massive college admissions scam.
However, his skills came at a price…
Here’s what you need to know about William Rick Singer.
1. Singer Made Millions as Part of His Scam With America’s Elite
Court papers claim that Singer was behind two organizations, The Key, which provided college counseling and test prep services; and a tax-exempt nonprofit, the Key Worldwide Foundation.
The Foundation’s stated role was “to provide guidance, encouragement and opportunity to disadvantaged students around the world,” the DoJ claims that it was used as a front.
Instead, prosecutors allege that Singer used the foundation as a method to transfer payments from parents to fund bribes to test administrators and coaches. He was allegedly paid $25 million total between 2011 and February 2019 as part of the deal.
2. He Photoshopped Pictures of Youngsters Playing Sports
Prosecutors claim that Singer helped wealthy parents to set up photos of their well-heeled youngsters playing sports and even photoshopped to teenagers’ faces onto stock sports photos in a bid to help them fraudulently get recruiting slots on teams at elite schools.
“In many instances, Singer helped parents take staged photographs of their children engaged in particular sports,” Massachusetts US Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters.
“Other times, he used stock photos, sometimes Photoshopping the face of the child on the athlete, and submitting it,” he added.
3. He Co-Wrote A Book About College Admissions
Singer wrote a book alongside his co-author Rebekah Hendershot about getting into college.
The text, published in 2014, was designed to help students to publish their college essays. During this Hendershot said she felt pressured by parents to help their offspring write the essays.
However, she told USA Today: “I wouldn’t do that.”
4. On The Surface His Role Looked Legit…
One of the most interesting facts about Singer is that he has been involved in the college admissions industry for many years. He is the founder and CEO of the company the Key, a “Private Life Coaching and College Counseling Company,”
The company’s website reads: “The Key’s clientele is all referral based; consequently, the quality of the service provided to many of the world’s most renown [sic] families and individuals has provided an incredible foundation for The Key to grow its offerings worldwide.”
Singer spent years at the helm of this hugely successful business and nobody questioned his methods.
5. He Agreed to Plead Guilty in Court
It appears that Singer knew that the end was nigh as he chose to plead guilty to a string of offenses on March 12 this year.
His extensive charge sheet included money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.
The charges were brought by prosecutors over his role in the scheme, which allegedly involved bribing coaches and paying off SAT exam proctors to get wealthy teenagers seats at top-tier universities.