Who Is Rick Singer, The Man Behind The Justice Department’s Largest College Admissions Scandal Ever?
On Tuesday, a number of people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged with bribing a man by the name of William Singer to get their kids into college. Singer, who lives in Newport Beach just south of Los Angeles, has reportedly been running an illegal college prep company for years, although he has been cooperating with the FBI since September 2018 after first being caught.
Singer, 58, started his career as a high school teacher and athletic coach, but saw an opportunity to grow a business helping students navigate the college application process. It’s unclear whether his company, called The Key, began legitimately or not, but what is clear is that by 2012 Singer had set up a fake charitable donation called Key Worldwide Foundation in order to cover for the millions of dollars he was receiving in bribes from parents around the country to get their kids into college.
Singer’s methods included helping students cheat on the SAT or ACT college admissions test or working with athletic coaches at elite universities to lie about a student’s athletic abilities. Among Huffman and Loughlin, a number of athletic coaches from universities including Yale University, Georgetown University and Stanford University have also been charged.
After first being caught back in September, Singer agreed to help the FBI conduct a sting operation, called Operaton Varsity Blues, and wore a wire when talking to clients. Reportedly, he still tried to tip off a couple of his most high-profile clients, earning him an obstruction of justice charge to add to his growing list of crimes. Right now, Singer has been charged with racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He was released on Tuesday on a $500,000 bond and is expected to be given sentencing on June 19. As of now, Singer has pleaded guilty and is looking at serving up to 65 years in prison.