California couple to plead guilty in college admissions scandal

Daniel Uria

April 30 (UPI) -- A pair of wealthy California parents are expected to plead guilty to conspiracy charges for paying more than $600,000 in bribes as part of a widespread college admissions scandal.

Bruce Isackson and Davina Isackson are set to become the first parents to plead guilty in court as part of the so-called Varsity Blues scandal, as they face charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.


Bruce Isackson also agreed to plead guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States for deducting bribe payments he made to the alleged mastermind of the scheme, Rick Singer, from their taxes as charitable contributions.

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The couple faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the charges of mail fraud and conspiracy and Bruce Isackson faces an additional maximum of 29 years for money laundering and five years for conspiracy to defraud.

Government prosecutors also recommended Bruce Isackson pay a $150,000 fine, restitution to the Internal Revenue Service totaling $139,509 and serve 12 months of supervised release.

They allegedly payed Singer $600,000 through his non-profit, The Key Worldwide Foundation, to get their oldest child into the University of California at Los Angeles and their younger daughter into the University of Southern California two years later.

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Their older daughter was admitted to UCLA as a member of the women's soccer team, where she participated on the team, unlike many of the other students in the scandal. The younger daughter was admitted to USC as a rowing student, despite not participating in competitive rowing.

Last year, the couple also inquired about seeking to engage in a similar scheme for their son.

More than a dozen other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, have reached plea agreements in the case, pleading guilty outside of court to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

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