Weekend Reads: Judge calls USC dad a 'thief,' gives longest prison sentence so far in college admissions scandal - - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend Reads Judge calls USC dad a 'thief,' gives longest prison sentence so far in college admissions scandal

09:01  14 november  2019
09:01  14 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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It marks the longest prison sentence so far handed down among 13 parents and one college coach in the nation's college admissions scandal . U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton stressed that MacFarlane participated in the nationwide admissions scheme led by college consultant Rick Singer

In 2019, a scandal arose over a criminal conspiracy to influence undergraduate admissions decisions at several top American universities .

a man wearing a suit and tie: Toby MacFarlane departs federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. © Michael Dwyer, AP Toby MacFarlane departs federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.

BOSTON — Toby MacFarlane, a former real estate and title insurance executive from California, was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday for paying $450,000 to get his daughter and son admitted into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

It marks the longest prison sentence so far handed down among 13 parents and one college coach in the nation's college admissions scandal.

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Gorton called MacFarlane a thief and said he is no different from a common criminal. Gorton is a new judge in the college admissions scandal , and is seen More than 50 people have been charged in the college admissions scheme. Nineteen parents have pleaded guilty so far , 12 other parents have

His sentencing came two days after Talwani gave Los Angeles businessman Devin Sloane an identical four months in prison for paying 0,000 to get this Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Kearney told the judge Semprevivo's actions represented "a level of egregiousness beyond what we’ve seen so far in

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U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton stressed that MacFarlane participated in the nationwide admissions scheme led by college consultant Rick Singer "not once, but twice," taking seats at USC away from two deserving students. 

He told MacFarlane his actions should be tolerated no more than a common thief's actions, "because that's what you are — a thief."

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A federal judge Friday sentenced a San Francisco wine magnate to five months in prison for his role in the college admissions scandal , the longest sentence in the case so far . Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, was one of the few parents implicated in the nationwide scheme who involved his child in it, according

The longer prison term for Sloane compared to Huffman means parents who took part in the recruitment plot rather than the testing scam could be More:What Felicity Huffman's prison sentence means for other parents in college admissions scandal . 'Are parents doing this for their children or

“Higher education in this country aspires to be a meritocracy. Those who work the hardest or make the best grades rightfully get accepted into the best schools," Gorton said. "You had the audacity and the self-aggrandizing impudence to use your wealth to cheat and lie your way around the rules that apply to everyone else."

More: California insurance exec pleads guilty to paying $450,000 for kids' admission into USC as fake recruits

Gorton also sentenced MacFarlane to two years of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine.

MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, California, must report to prison by Jan. 2. He did not comment to reporters outside the courthouse as he exited before quickly stepping into a nearby Starbucks. MacFarlane pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges in June. 

Addressing the court, MacFarlane, himself a USC graduate, apologized to his family, friends, former business partners and his alma mater, as well as "all of the students who applied and didn't get in."

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Another parent has been sentenced to prison in a college admissions bribery scheme, and it’s the longest term given in the scandal so far . A federal judge in Boston sentenced California winemaker Agustin Huneeus Jr. to five months in prison for offering 0,000 in bribes to get his daughter into

In the longest prison term handed down so far in the college admissions cheating scandal , a former California real estate executive was sentenced A judge ordered California winemaker Agustin Francisco Huneeus, 53, to serve five months in October after Huneeus pleaded guilty to conspiracy to

“I am truly sorry. I love that school and it is heartbreaking to me that I brought a shadow on it," he said, adding he set a "terrible example" for his children. "They didn’t deserve this. I’m working to make it up to them and regain their respect.”

Gorton opted to impose a harsher sentence than called for in sentencing guidelines, citing the “fraudulent, deceitful" nature of MacFarlane's conduct. The judge's decision could be a preview of how he will approach other parents who go before him — including actress Lori Loughlin — who have pleaded not guilty.  

More: Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty to new charges in college admissions scandal

MacFarlane, a former senior executive at WFG National Title Insurance Company, made two separate payments of $200,000, one in 2014 and on in 2017, to the sham nonprofit operated by Singer. Singer, in turn, facilitated his children's admissions into USC through bribes to one current and two former USC employees. MacFarlane also made a $50,000 payment to USC athletics.

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Insurance exec gets longest sentence yet in college admissions scandal . BOSTON — A former California insurance executive was sentenced to six months in prison for paying 0,000 to get his son and daughter admitted to the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

A former California real estate executive was sentenced to six months in prison for funding a scheme to get his children into the University of Southern California as fake soccer and He became the 13th parent sentenced in the college admissions bribery scandal that came to light in March.

The first transaction involved the admission of MacFarlane's daughter into USC as a fake soccer recruit. He then paid Singer again to admit his son into USC posing as a basketball recruit. 

"The defendant knew what he was doing was wrong. He knew it wasn't accepted at the school," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen told the judge. "So what does he do? He does it again with his son.”

Rosen said MacFarlane deserved prison because he was the first parent who paid into Singer's "side-door" recruitment scheme twice. He asked the judge to "send a message" as a result.

MacFarlane's defense attorney, Ted Cassman, sought a lighter sentence, arguing his client was less culpable than other parents sentenced in the admissions scheme. Unlike other parents, he said MacFarlane did not seek out Singer for cheating but for his consulting services. 

He said MacFarlane already suffered "swift and severe" collateral consequences from his conduct. He also pointed to MacFarlane's divorce, which separated his family and pressured him to buckle to Singer's offer.

“It was during this period that Mr. Singer offered an easy way out," Cassman said. “And foolishly and tragically, Mr. MacFarlane took the easy way out.”

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U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani isn't just doling out prison terms in the college admissions scandal . 'What makes your child entitled?' Judge takes on privilege as she sentences parents in college Singer called the latter scenario entry through the "side door." Talwani has given harsher

In March, federal prosecutors charged 50 people in a brazen scheme to secure spots at Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools in what they called the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”.

More: Napa Valley vineyard owner gets five months in prison for college admissions scheme

The toughest prison sentence previously ordered was five months for Agustin Huneeus, a Napa Valley, California winemaker. Huneeus, who agreed to pay Singer $300,000 is the only defendant to take part in both the recruitment scheme and Singer's plot to cheat on college entrance exams. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani handed down the sentence of Huneeus and 11 other parents while Judge Douglas Woodlock sentenced one other parent.

Twenty-nine defendants, including 19 parents, have either pleaded guilty in court or agreed to plead guilty to charges in the historic admissions case.

Igor Dvorsiky, a former administrator for the ACT and SAT, pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to racketeering charges for accepting nearly $200,000 in bribes to opening a private school he operated in Los Angles for cheating in Singer's scheme. He admitted to opening it on 11 occasions, involving 20 students, for cheating.

Reach Joey Garrison and on Twitter @joeygarrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Judge calls USC dad a 'thief,' gives longest prison sentence so far in college admissions scandal

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