More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

And just when we thought we’d heard the last of the sad-sack parents caught cheating to get their kids into elite colleges…Nope! More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal There’s more!  Another wave of them – three dozen more caught in USC’s “fine-tooth” investigation of their student body, their follow-up to the initial revelations. These are all people who have said the words “What Goes Around Comes Around” dozens if not hundreds of times in their lifetime…always about other people. Sound familiar? Yea, we all do it. The question is, why does it take something like this happening to drive it home that the same principles apply to all of us. It is why I wrote my book, very uncreatively named, “What Goes Around Comes Around – A Guide To How Life REALLY Works,” (see what I mean:) found on Amazon or www.WhatGoesLLC.com .

The question is, why does it take something like this happening to drive home that it is a law of life and applies to all of us. We hear it constantly, in many ways growing up. Every Grandmother has her version. Mine was, “You made your bed young man, now you’ll have to lie in it!” Another was, “Don’t touch that fire or you’ll get burned!” Then of course, “You WILL reap what you sow!” It took me years to figure out that meant planting seeds rather than fixing a tear in my shirt or pants 🙂

These folks are getting a good dose of it, completely self-inflicted. Writing my book, very uncreatively named, What Goes Around Comes Around – A Guide To How Life REALLY Works, is my contribution to trying help others avoid the need to go through what they’re now facing

NY Times By

BOSTON — One father conspired to pay bribes to get two children admitted to the University of Southern California — one as a recruit in soccer, the other in football. A couple plotted to cheat on college entrance exams for their two daughters. A mother worried that her daughter might figure out she was trying to get her a fake ACT score, saying, on a call that turned out to be recorded by the authorities, “She already thinks I’m up to, like, no good.”

Prosecutors warning of new charges

Four parents, including the former head of one of the world’s biggest asset managers and an heir to a fortune created by microwaveable snacks, pleaded guilty on Monday in the nation’s largest college admissions prosecution. With trials drawing closer and prosecutors warning of new charges, the four were part of a new wave of parents pleading guilty to using lies and bribery to secure their children’s admission to elite colleges.

Among them was Douglas Hodge, a former chief executive of Pimco and one of the most prominent business executives caught up in the scandal. He admitted that he conspired to pay more than $500,000 in bribes to get two of his children admitted to U.S.C. as athletic recruits.

Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of Pimco, left the federal courthouse in Boston on Monday after pleading guilty in a college admissions scandal.
CreditCJ Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

I am ashamed of the decisions I made

“I accept full and complete responsibility for my conduct,” Mr. Hodge said in a statement. “I have always prided myself on leading by example, and I am ashamed of the decisions I made. I acted out of love for my children, but I know that this explanation for my actions is not an excuse.”

The other parents who pleaded guilty on Monday were Manuel Henriquez, the founder and former chief executive of Hercules Capital, a financial firm in Palo Alto, Calif., and his wife, Elizabeth, and Michelle Janavs, of Newport Coast, Calif., whose father and uncle invented Hot Pockets. More than a dozen parents caught up in the scandal, including the actress Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty months ago in connection with the far-reaching cheating scheme that prosecutors revealed in March. But others among nearly three dozen parents charged, including Mr. Hodge, had entered not guilty pleas and, until now, appeared headed for trial.

An intense campaign by the United States attorney’s office to press the remaining parents to reverse course.

The new group of guilty pleas reflected what lawyers involved in the case said was an intense campaign by the United States attorney’s office to press the remaining parents to reverse course.

According to several of the lawyers involved in the case, prosecutors gave some parents deadlines of Monday or a few days before to agree to plead guilty, or risk facing a new charge that had the potential to bring a longer sentence. These lawyers said they now expected prosecutors to bring that new charge — known as federal programs bribery — against most, if not all, of the parents who stick to their not-guilty pleas. Two of the lawyers said it was possible that additional parents would also be charged in the scandal.

A representative for the United States attorney’s office declined to comment.

The parents who pleaded guilty on Monday all told the judge, either on their own or through lawyers, that prosecutors had assured them they would not face additional charges if they pleaded guilty. All four pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud.

The hearings were emotional at times

The hearings were emotional at times. Mr. Henriquez had difficulty speaking as he was sworn in and answered questions from the judge, Nathaniel M. Gorton of the District of Massachusetts. At one point during his hearing, his wife, who was in the courtroom, hunched forward, crying.

Prosecutors accused Mr. and Ms. Henriquez of conspiring to cheat on college entrance exams for their two daughters, as well as paying $400,000 to bribe the tennis coach at Georgetown to designate their older daughter as a recruit to the team based on false credentials.

Manuel Henriquez, center, a co-founder of Hercules Capital, said he had believed he was making a donation to the Georgetown tennis program.
CreditCJ Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

When Judge Gorton asked Mr. Henriquez if he had anything to add to the lead prosecutor’s description of the allegations, Mr. Henriquez spoke in a halting voice.

The awful and destructive impact it has had on the family, my children

“I’m going to start off by saying, your honor, that I am deeply sorry for the actions that I have taken and the awful and destructive impact it has had on the family, my children,” and children “just like me who have severe learning issues,” Mr. Henriquez said without further explanation. “I never intended to hurt anybody in this process.”

More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

He said that, while he believed he was guilty of the criminal charges, he disputed the claim that he had conspired to bribe the tennis coach. Rather, he said he had believed he was making a donation to the Georgetown tennis program.

Mr. Henriquez said William Singer, a college consultant whom prosecutors have described as the mastermind of the scheme, told him that part of the $400,000 he was paying to a foundation led by Mr. Singer would go to the tennis program and “would hopefully assure my daughter’s admission.”

“I provided a donation to the foundation rather than to the university directly,” Mr. Henriquez said, “because Mr. Singer insisted that that was the way it had to be done.”

Mr. Singer has pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges and is cooperating with the government.

According to prosecutors, Ms. Janavs agreed to pay $200,000 to get her older daughter admitted to U.S.C. as a volleyball recruit, despite her not being qualified for that status. Prosecutors said Ms. Janavs also agreed to pay $100,000 to cheat on both of her daughters’ ACT exams.

Michelle Janavs, center, a food executive from California, agreed to pay $100,000 to cheat on both of her daughters’ ACT exams, according to prosecutors.
CreditCJ Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

Ms. Loughlin was anxious about the case and regretted her not-guilty plea

Among the parents who have pleaded not guilty is the second actress charged in the case, Lori Loughlin. While Hollywood gossip magazines have reported that Ms. Loughlin was anxious about the case and regretted her not-guilty plea, there has been no indication that she intends to change her plea. A lawyer for Ms. Loughlin did not respond to a question about her plans.

Prosecutors have said that Ms. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, agreed to pay $500,000 in bribes to secure the admission of their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, to U.S.C. as recruits for the crew team. The university registrar at U.S.C., which has been engaged in a protracted process of investigating nearly three dozen students connected to the scandal, said in a statement Monday that the two daughters were no longer enrolled at the school. The statement said the school was unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws.

Parents who pleaded guilty in the early days of the case have begun to receive punishments,

Parents who pleaded guilty in the early days of the case have begun to receive punishments, with sentences ranging from probation to five months in prison. Ms. Huffman, who acknowledged paying a college consultant $15,000 to cheat on her daughter’s SAT exam, was sentenced to two weeks in prison, which she is currently serving at a minimum-security federal prison camp outside San Francisco.

Some lawyers involved in the case said they believed that prosecutors were disappointed with the sentences given out so far, which were all lighter than they had requested.

Prosecutors have argued that the advisory sentencing guidelines range for each parent’s case should increase with the amount of money each parent paid, either to cheat on a test or buy a recruitment slot. With some parents paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, that approach could have brought significantly more severe guidelines ranges. But the judge who has sentenced these parents, Indira Talwani, has said that the amount of money should not affect the guidelines range.

Includes the former president of a private tennis academy in Texas

The charge of federal programs bribery, which prosecutors were said to be considering adding against some defendants, involves theft from or bribery of an agent of an organization that receives more than $10,000 in federal funds. For the parents accused of conspiring to bribe coaches to designate their students as athletic recruits, that charge could apply, experts said, because the colleges involved accept federal funds. Also on Monday, the United States attorney’s office said that Martin Fox, the former president of a private tennis academy in Texas, who prosecutors say helped Mr. Singer arrange to bribe coaches at the University of Texas and the University of San Diego, agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent reviews, has to say about "What Goes Around Comes Around":

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“A stable, positive, non-preachy, objective voice makes the manual stand apart from others in the genre.  A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal