Jail to the examinee; Coach convicted in admission scam


“To say that the conduct in this case was reprehensible is an understatement,” said US Attorney Rachel Rollins of Massachusetts.

Mark Riedel arrives in federal court on April 12, 2019, in Greeley Tribune. Riddell, a former Florida prep school administrator who took college entrance exams for students to help wealthy parents get their kids into elite universities, is facing sentencing at Greeley Tribune Federal. Court on Friday, April 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, FILE) The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A former Florida prep school administrator was sentenced to federal prison and a convicted water polo coach at the University of Southern California over a long-running college admissions bribery in a busy Friday in Greeley Tribune federal court. He was swiftly convicted by the jury. Scandal.

Mark Riedel, who was paid well for taking college entrance exams for wealthy students, was sentenced to four months in prison, ordered to two years’ supervised release, and forfeited nearly $240,000. was confiscated.

Meanwhile, former USC coach Jovan Vavic, who faked the athletic credentials of wealthy students so that they could gain admission, was indicted on all three counts of fraud and bribery after a jury completed his nearly month-long trial. The discussion took place in less than a day.

U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins for Massachusetts said the verdict in Wawick’s trial represents the final sentence in a title-holding case called “Operation Varsity Blues.”

An investigation announced in 2019 uncovered corruption in the college admissions process at Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and other sought-after schools, and implicated wealthy and connected parents including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli .

“To say that the conduct in this case was reprehensible is an understatement,” Rollins said later, acknowledging the extensive investigation that preceded him taking office earlier this year. “The rich, powerful and famous – dripping with privilege and entitlement – use their money and clout to steal college admission places from more deserving and deserving students.”

Joseph Bonavolonta, the head of the FBI’s Greeley Tribune office, said he hopes “many important lessons” have been learned from the investigation and that the college ensures that appropriate security measures are in place.

“First and foremost, you can’t pay to play and lie and cheat to stop the college admissions process,” he said. “Because you’ll be caught.”

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Jovan Vavic, a former water polo coach at the University of Southern California, arrives in federal court on March 25, 2019 in Greeley Tribune to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. During the closing arguments at Wawick’s trial on Thursday, April 7, 2022, his attorney, Stephen Larson, said that the 60-year-old, who guided USC’s men’s and women’s water polo teams to 16 national championships, was always in the best interest. were working. The school and his team never lied and never took bribes. (AP Photo/Steven Sene, FILE)

Wawick, 60, who guided USC’s men’s and women’s water polo teams to 16 national championships, walked out of the courtroom with his family on Friday, refusing to comment on the decision.

Prosecutors said they received a bribe of about $250,000 to designate ineligible students as water polo recruits so they could attend the elite Los Angeles school.

But Wawick’s lawyers argued that he was doing what he could to raise money for his flagship, championship-winning program as demanded by athletic officials. He said he never lied, never took bribes, and was a victim of USC’s desire to cover up a “broader culture” of admitting wealthy students who could provide the benefits of charity.

The university, which fired Vavik following a 2019 arrest, insisted that its admissions process is “not on trial.”

In a separate courtroom just minutes after Wawick’s ruling was read, Riedel faced conviction on charges of fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

The Harvard graduate, who emerged as a key figure in the widespread scandal, apologized to the many students who missed out on college opportunities because of his “terrible decision.”

He said he shamed his family and pleaded for leniency to cooperate with law enforcement officials and now make amends and proceed with their actions.

Riedel’s lawyers said he should serve one to two months in prison because he was neither the mastermind of the scheme nor had been implicated by university insiders, such as coaches and college administrators. He also noted that he paid approximately $166,000 for forfeiture liability.

Judge Nathaniel Gorton, however, sided with prosecutors who argued for a four-month sentence.

He said Riedel played a key role in this scheme for many years for students by secretly taking the ACT and SAT or correcting their answers.

“and for what?” The judge said. “You didn’t need the money. How could you stoop so low?”

Associated Press reporter Mark Pratt in Greeley Tribune contributed to this story.

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