U.S. prosecutors have it seems built up a detailed case against Vancouver businessman David Sidoo in the college admissions scandal as a new indictment shows (see link below).
Prosecutors allege that William ‘Rick’ Singer, who they say was behind the scheme to help wealthy families get their children’s entrance to prestigious schools, falsified an application essay in or about October 2013 describing Sidoo’s younger son’s purported internship with an organization that worked to combat violence among Los Angeles-based gangs.
“The essay falsely claimed that SIDOO’s younger son had been held at gun point by gang members in Los Angeles. Singer e-mailed the essay to SIDOO,” reads the indictment. “SIDOO wrote back with minor changes to the essay, and asked, ‘can we lessen the interaction with the gangs. Guns…? That’s scary stuff. Your call you know what they look for.’”
It adds: “The essay, without the reference to guns was later submitted as part of SIDOO’s younger son’s application for admission to multiple universities.”
The indictment also says: “Beginning in approximately 2015, SIDOO asked Singer if he could have Riddell take either the Graduate Management Admission Test (“GMAT”), a standardized test that is widely used as part of the business school admissions process, or the Law School Admission Test (“LSAT”) on behalf of his oldest son. In exchange for taking one of the exams, Sidoo agreed to pay Singer a sum of money, and Singer, in turn, agreed to pay [Mark] Riddell approximately $100,000.”
“Singer and Riddell researched the security measures in place for both exams. On or about April 28, 2015, Singer told SIDOO that their plan to have Riddell take the LSAT in place of SIDOO’s son was “[n]ot happening due to fingerprinting,” requirements on the exam,” the indictment states.
“On or about December 15, 2016, Riddell used Western Union to wire $520 to China to pay for fraudulent drivers’ licenses that he intended to use to pose as SIDOO’s older son for the GMAT. Riddell had the identification mailed to Simger. The false identifications were not of high quality, and Riddell ultimately decided not to take the exam on behalf of SIDOO’s son.
“On or about October 25, 2018, Singer called SIDOO from Boston, Massachusetts. During the call, SIDOO noted that his older son was applying to business school, adding, “I thought you were gonna call me and say I got a 2100 on my GMAT.” In fact, the GMAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. Singer responded, “They don’t have a 2100 for GMAT. But I would do my best to get it for ya.” SIDOO replied, “I know.””
Last March, Sidoo was accused of paying Singer to have Riddell write SATs for his sons in 2011 and 2012, besides a high school graduation exam. The older son got admission to a private university in California. The younger son went to the University of California-Berkeley.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.