School bribery scandal: schools accepted white students in the belief that they had a & # 39; black tennis whiz & # 39; used to be
New details about the university's bribe plan and how it was exposed, including how a daughter of a white lawyer was accepted in three colleges after submitting an application that described her as an African-American tennis whizz who was the first in her family to go to school would go.
The details came to the fore in one Vanity Fair piece on Wednesday that exposes the scandal and offers new insight into how it unfolded in some of the country's most privileged schools.
It contains the story of the Bass family who have not been sued but who worked with Singer in 2017.
Adam Bass hired Singer for & # 39; college counseling & # 39; services to help his daughter. The girl, who is not mentioned, went to The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks.
She submitted applications to Georgetown, Loyola Marymount and Tulane. Her father Adam, a well-trained lawyer and board member of Buckley, had hired the genius of the plan, Rick Singer, for advisory services.
Despite being white and not playing the sport, the girl's applications described her as an African-American rising tennis star.
It also said she would be the first in her family to go to college, despite her father going to college and then studying law.
Adam Bass hired Rick Singer for school guidance for his daughter in 2017. He says he didn't know that Singer lied about her request that she was an African-American tennis star who would be the first to go to college with her family. Bass is not charged
Unaware of her true background, all three schools wanted to accept her.
It was only when a representative from Tulane contacted her high school advisor, Julie Taylor-Vaz, and sputtered about their excitement that the lies came to light.
Buckley counselor Julie Taylor-Vaz (photo) discovered the plan when colleges called her to say they were excited to welcome Bass's daughter. She then informed them that she was neither African American nor tennis player
Taylor-Vaz told the colleges that part of what the student had submitted was not true and they allowed her to withdraw the applications without incident.
Buckley spoke to her father, who told them that Singer had probably gone into his daughter's application and had changed it without their knowledge.
He said that Singer had asked for her password in order to change it and that he was not aware of the lies.
Bass insisted that they were not complicit in the lie and his daughter emailed the schools to email his denial.
She finally applied to Berkeley for a new application and she remains a student there.
In a statement about their relationship with Singer, a spokesperson for the family told CBS on Wednesday: & # 39; Like thousands of families, the Bass Family hired Rick Singer's company for study guidance and to help their daughter with her college applications.
& # 39; In December 2017, they were stunned to hear that Mr. Singer and his company provided inaccurate information about some of their daughter's requests that did not relate to her test scores or academic data.
& # 39; They contacted the schools immediately about Mr. Singer's misconduct and provided them with accurate information.
& # 39; They have not made any payments or donations to a college, sports program or coach, directly or indirectly, and are not the target of any ongoing research. & # 39;
The Buckley School staff did not warn the authorities despite hearing what Singer had done with student requests
Gordon Ernst, the former head coach of tennis in Georgetown, now charged
Buckley – who had warned parents not to engage external care providers – did not go any further.
But it led to an investigation in Georgetown, where the staff took tennis coach Gordon Ernst on leave.
When they found two other cases of irregularities among the recruits of Ernsts, he was fired and went to work at the University of Rhode Island.
Ernst is one of the representatives of the college who has been charged as part of the scheme.
& # 39; We all thought our children would become collateral damage. We are the category that will be completely f *** ed, & # 39;
Unnamed parent of an innocent student who was afraid that they would be rejected because of the university scam
However, Georgetown has not contacted the authorities.
The only reason the problem was presented to them was Morrie Tobin, a father who was involved in the services of Singer, who had to deal with embezzlement.
When questioned for those allegations, he offered the authorities a barter in exchange for the details of a bribe fraud involving universities that involved the country's most prestigious private and elite colleges.
The FBI set up wire cranes and listened to Singer for months before reaching him and dozens of others in March.
As the news spread, parents whose children had been honest about their applications panicked.
At Brentwood School, where at least one student lied to come in, the staff held a meeting that, according to a parent, descended into an & # 39; absolute show & # 39 ;.
Friends of Lori Loughlin told Vanity Fair that they don't know why she denies the charge. Felicity Huffman (right) has already pleaded guilty
The parents who were most concerned were those who were rich enough to send their children to a private school, but not rich enough to make huge donations to their chosen colleges.
& # 39; We all thought our children would become collateral damage. We are the category that will be fully focused, & one said to Vanity Fair.
Nobody can find out what (Lori) does
Friend of the actress on her non-guilty plea
They feared that colleges would ban all children from the infected high schools as a matter of principle.
It didn't help when a boy who had been rejected from Georgetown e-mailed them to say he was hired for Harvard and wrote: & # 39; F *** k you. I'm going to Harvard. & # 39;
Singer and dozens of parents, including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, are waiting for their fate.
Huffman and others who paid Singer to have someone else do tests for their children or lied to claim that their children were athletic stars have pleaded guilty.
Loughlin claims she didn't do anything wrong. Her daughters came under USC according to false pretenses, according to the government.
According to a & # 39; person in her social circle & # 39; who was interviewed for the piece, & # 39; no one can find out what she is doing & # 39 ;.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo were both accused of fraud, but neither admitted it.
Huffman apologized and said she was ashamed & # 39; for its participation in the scheme.
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