Federal prosecutors charged 33 parents, along with two SAT/ACT administrators, an exam proctor, nine coaches and three organizers with involvement in a college admissions fraud scheme on Tuesday.
Documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice assert that William Singer, a well-connected college admissions adviser, sold two forms of fraud to wealthy Hollywood elites and corporate executives, in which students would cheat on their SAT/ACT exams, artificially inflating their scores, or bribe college coaches to fake athleticism. Some would utilize both options.
In the first, students would either have another student take the exam in their place, or have proctors change their answers after taking the test. In some cases, applicants were told to provide a fake reason, such as a family wedding, in order to take the exam in one of the two testing centers that Singer could bribe.
"In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for this cheating," according to the federal complaint, which was filed in Massachusetts.
In the second option, Singer would bribe coaches at elite universities. He would then provide a fake profile of the student, at times including falsified information of the students' sports experiences and photoshopped photos of the students playing the sport. Coaches would use the profile to internally convince administrators to accept the student.