On March 12, 2019, United States federal prosecutors charged 50 people who were allegedly part of a scheme to influence admissions decisions at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University.
The indictment alleges that Rick Singer, a “college admissions counselor,” was paid more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 by wealthy parents seeking to get their children admitted to the university of their choice. Mr. Singer allegedly used the money to, among other things, bribe college coaches and athletic staff to falsely identify students as athletic recruits to improve their chances for admission even though the students did not participate in the sports. Mr. Singer also allegedly hired people to take standardized college admissions tests or improperly correct the answers on those tests for his clients’ children. As a result, thousands of undeserving students were granted admission to elite colleges in place of more qualified students who followed the rules.
Franklin D. Azar and Associates is investigating the college admissions scandal.
If you applied for admission at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and/or Georgetown University between 2012 and 2018 and were waitlisted or denied admission, you may have a claim for fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, unfair competition, negligence and other potential claims. CONTACT FDAZAR IMMEDIATELY
Top universities involved signal status and can deliver consistently higher earnings for their graduates. According to PayScale, the return on investment for a degree from Stanford University is about $800,000 after 20 years. For regional state schools like the University of South Carolina, Columbia, or Eastern Washington University, the return is less than one-third of that.
The U.S.’s most elite schools now accept less than 6% of those who apply. Some schools routinely reject dozens of class valedictorians and students with perfect or near-perfect scores on their college boards.
Mr. Singer and the parents involved increased unqualified students’ odds of admission through two schemes. First, Mr. Singer arranged for imposters to take the standardized college admissions tests for the unqualified students, or bribed test administrators or proctors to correct test answers. As a result, the universities bypassed otherwise qualified applicants and admitted the unqualified rich students who had falsified test scores.
Second, each year, university admissions programs would set aside a certain number of “slots” for admission of students who excelled in certain sports. Mr. Singer would falsify applications showing academically unqualified students participating in the targeted sports, then bribe university officials to affirm the false applications. As a result, the universities bypassed otherwise qualified applicants and admitted the unqualified rich students who falsified their athletic achievements.
As an indication of the rampant misconduct, 50 people were indicted for their roles in the college admissions scandal, including university coaches, administrators and parents – many of whom are television and movie stars, fashion designers and CEOs of large companies.
Thousands have been unfairly denied admissions to top universities as a result. In 2018 alone, Mr. Singer helped 765 unqualified students cheat their way into the college of their choice, displacing hundreds of more qualified applicants.
Franklin D. Azar & Associates is well known in the class action community. For over 30 years, our class action attorneys have protected the rights of individuals who have been taken advantage of by big corporations, and during that time, have secured over $1.5 billion in compensation – including over $750 million from Walmart in a wage and hour dispute that spanned approximately 26 states. Azar & Associates has been and is involved class actions against other large corporations like Hewlett Packard, Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., Flex Ltd., and 401k providers. Our class action department is staffed with experienced, passionate and knowledgeable attorneys who focus on litigating large, complex cases on behalf of consumers, employees and investors who have suffered losses.