, 23 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I read the 204-page affidavit filed in the #CollegeCheatingScandal.

An FBI agent laid out exactly what happened. Here's a summary:

1. This college bribery scam started in 2001 and has NOT YET ENDED.

It is described as "continuing through the present."
2. The fraud involved 3 parts:

- bribing SAT/ACT test administrators to facilitate cheating on those exams;

- bribing varsity coaches & administrators at top universities to get students deemed as "recruited" athletes;

- masking the bribes as tax-deductible charity donations
3. The FBI has a mountain of evidence -- bank records, e-mails, phone records, wiretaps, consensual recordings + witnesses, etc. -- but it is not yet revealing all it knows.

The agent's affidavit said she is disclosing "only those facts sufficient to
establish probable cause."
4. The parents wanted to get their kids into schools like UCLA, Stanford, USC, Yale & the University of Texas at Austin.
5. Here's how the SAT/ACT cheating happened:

Most often, a parent paid for their kid's test to be "corrected" after the student took the exam. But in some cases, someone else took the test.

In all cases, parents got a "guarantee" of a higher score; whatever score they wanted.
6. Here's how the athletic cheating happened:

Fake student profiles were created.

The real student had little or no athletic ability, and often didn't even play the sport - like tennis or crew. But bogus awards, athletic activities & photos were put on the college application.
7. This particular #CollegeCheatingScandal began with a guy out in CA who ran a biz called The Edge College & Career Network, LLC -- AKA “The Key.”

The man is called "CW-1" (Cooperating Witness 1), b/c he agreed to drop a dime on all the parents, hoping for a lighter sentence.
8. CW-1 has been publicly ID'd in media reports as William Rick Singer, the founder of The Key. He also operated The Key Worldwide Foundation, an IRS approved non-profit exempt from paying federal taxes.

That meant the parents "donating" to Singer's "charity" got a tax break too
9. Scamming Uncle Sam & doing this elaborate con is clearly a big NO-NO.

So Singer was indicted on multiple counts of money laundering, racketeering and fraud. Seems he also pulled a Paul Manafort.

In Sept 2018, he agreed to cooperate & get evidence on parents. But then ...
10. Singer actually reneged on his deal with authorities and he tipped off some of the parents/targets of the investigation! Okaaaay.

That resulted in him being hit with an additional charge: obstruction of justice.

11. But to pull off the main scam - cheating on the SAT/ACT -- here's how Singer arranged it:

He had parents get their kids diagnosed w/ "learning disabilities" so they could take have extra time -- usually 2 days - to take their
college entrance exams. Then ...
11. Singer had parents change the location of the SAT/ACT exam to one of two test centers he "controlled": a public high school in Houston, TX and a private prep school in West Hollywood, CA. At those places, a student would take the SAT/ACT 1-on-1 w/a proctor; no other students
12. Singer paid the proctor to take the exams 4 the student, feed the students answers, or just correct the students’ answers after they did the tests. "In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for this cheating." the FBI said.
13. Parents paid between $15,000 and $75,000 per test just for this part of the cheating scheme, with the payments usually disguised as donations to Singer's "charity."

To get their kids labeled "recruited" athletes, parents paid t
14. Explaining it to parents, Singer said his approach is to use a "side door" into college. The front door, he said, is to apply on one's merit. The back door is to pay millions in donations. "What we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school."
15. The FBI has records of Singer talking to parents. One of his main tactics was to explain to the rich how common this practice was -- even as he encouraged them to keep it hush hush.

Singer said he did this WITH NEARLY 800 FAMILIES.

#CollegeCheatingScandal #collegescam
16. Lastly, for every parent involved -- they all knew what was going on. Every. Single. One.

Even if they didn't know/understand all the details, it's very clear from the FBI transcripts that they parents knew full well that they were writing a check to buy college access.
17. Some parents did express reservations, question the legality, or worry about blow back if found out. But for the most part, they willingly wrote those checks. One guy said he had no "moral" qualms about it; he only worried that getting busted would mean his DD was "finished."
18. Once Singer agreed to cooperate w/ the feds, he lied to all the parents & told them his foundation was being audited.

He wasn't. It was just a ruse, a slick way to get the parents on tape admitting to the scandal, without them knowing that the feds already had the goods.
19. So Singer called & was like: "Let's get our story straight. If the IRS calls, just say those donations you made were charitable & not illegal payments to get your kid into college, OK?"

Parents were like: "Yes, of course."

One went: "Dude what do you think, I’m a moron?"
20. Final note: the irony is that these parents were NOT morons. Most are CEOs/founders, presidents & leaders in business and industry.

Throw in actors like Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin & William Macy and you can see why there's more to come with this #CollegeCheatingScandal
*parents paid anywhere from $200,000 to $1.2 million
21. *Just saw a typo in my 1st tweet ... The date the scam began was 2011 (not 2001). Again, to be clear, this particular #CollegeCheatingScandal commenced 8 years ago ... in 2011, per the FBI affidavit filed in support of the complaint.
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