The College Admissions Scandal: The Fallout

Posted on Mar 21, 2019 in Business Litigation

As this country is awakening to the massive alleged college admissions scandal, everyone is asking “what is the fallout.” There are essentially two alleged schemes, cheating in the test taking and lying about whether the applicant was an athletes when they are not. So, what will be the results:

1. Coaches: Coaches who allowed applicants to claim they were athletes when they were really not, are on suspension of have been terminated from their position.

2. SAT/ACT Exams: The entities that administer the SAT and ACT are will not only hold proctors accountable but will develop a stronger screening mechanism for test taking.

3. Students: According to the criminal affidavits submitted with the indictment, while certain students were well aware of the wholesale cheating in which their parents were engaged, others were not. Accordingly, the fate of each student has to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Anyone in the middle of the their application who cheated, will obviously not get into that institution. And at least two colleges have said they would do just that. However, if the student already graduated, it is unlikely that the school will revoke their degree. As for students who are in school, each college and university is launching their own investigation to determine whether that student knew his parents were violating laws. Those who did will most likely face expulsion. Currently, no students are yet facing criminal charges. However, the criminal affidavit states that certain students whose parents had paid proctors to sit with them while taking the admissions test, could still be indicted. According to one affidavit, the Henriquezes’ daughter “gloated” … “about the fact that they had cheated and gotten away with it.” They may be facing criminal prosecution.

4. Parents: Parents will be going to jail. The criminal allegations involve serious violations of federal criminal statutes including, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. William Singer, the CEO of the college prep company – or the nucleus of the fraud — has already pleaded guilty to running the biggest college admissions scam ever. He became a cooperating witness turning in his celebrity clients. And these parents will not be able to, once again, throw money at the problem. There is a high likelihood that the parents will plead guilty, as the evidence, when it comes to money being exchanged and with Singer as the cooperating witness, will be easy to prove.

5. Class Action Lawsuits: Several students and parents have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking class-action status against the Stamford, USC, UCLA, University of San Diego, Yale, Wake Forest, University of Texas, Georgetown and other colleges named in the college admissions scandal. It alleges negligence, fraud, unfair competition and violations of consumer law against the universities, with the plaintiffs claiming that they would never have applied to those schools if they knew of the scheme. The lawsuit asks for a variety of relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, restitution and other relief deemed proper by court.

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