The founder of the admissions counseling business at the center of a massive college admissions scam offered to help an existing parent client with his son’s application to business school.
Court documents show that as late as October of 2018 William ‘Rick’ Singer, the fraudster who created the scheme to cheat on the SAT and to bribe college officials to help clients get their children into prestige colleges, made the boast in a phone call to David Sidoo, whose son Dylan had already taken Harvard Business School’s online course, known as CORe for Credential of Readiness, in 2017 and recorded a grade of “pass,” noted on his LinkedIn profile.
A former Canadian Football League player and prominent Canadian dealmaker, Sidoo had earlier paid $200,000 to have Singer arrange for someone to take the SAT for his two sons to help them get into Chapman University in California and the University of California, Berkeley, according to the indictment.
‘I THOUGHT YOU WERE GONNA CALL ME AND SAY I GOT A 2100 ON MY GMAT’
Last year, he noted on the phone call to ringleader Singer that his older son, Dylan, the one who first went to Chapman, was now applying to business school.
“I thought you were gonna call me and say I got a 2100 on my GMAT,” Sidoo told Singer, according to a wiretap of the conversation.
“They don’t have a 2100 for the GMAT,” responded Singer. “But I would do my best to get it for ya.”
“I know,” said Sidoo.
It’s not clear if Sidoo’s older son, Dylan, got help with his business school application or if he, in fact, applied for an MBA. The phone call is recreated in an indictment filed in U.S. District of Massachusetts Court alleging that Sidoo “conspired to commit mail and wire fraud by cheating on college entrance exams.”
Sidoo is among dozens charged, including Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg and Michigan MBA alums (see Harvard & Stanford MBAs Snared In College Admissions Scam), in a criminal conspiracy to help applicants from wealthy families win admission to prestigious colleges. Sidoo was arrested in San Jose, California, on March 8 and released on a $1 million bond, which was raised to $1.5 million on Friday, March 15, when Sidoo pleaded not guilty to the charges.
SIDOO ALLEGEDLY PAID $200,000 FOR A FRAUDSTER TO TAKE THE SAT FOR HIS TWO SONS
The indictment alleges that Sidoo first enlisted help for the son back in 2011. He then asked Singer not to get too high a score because Sidoo’s older son had previously taken the exam himself and scored a 1460 out of a possible 2400. The person Singer arranged to take the exam on Dec. 3 of 2011, flew from Tampa to Vancouver to sit for the SAT and ultimately scored a 1670. Two days before Christmas that year, a copy of the score was sent to Chapman, and Dylan was admitted on Jan. 24.
Four months later, just before Dylan’s graduation, according to the indictment, the unnamed impostor posed as Sidoo’s son again to secretly take the Canadian high school graduation exam in his place.
The scheme obviously went undetected, leading Sidoo to enlist Singer’s services yet again for his younger son. Joran. In November of 2012, yet another SAT test was taken on behalf of the son in Orange, County, California. Los Angeles. This time, the test taker was told to get a high score because the son had never taken the test before. The result: a 2280 out of the maximum score of 2400. These scores were later sent to Yale, Georgetown, and UC-Berkeley where Jordan was admitted and ultimately enrolled.
In both cases, Singer used falsified identification cards to allow someone to take the test.
According to published reports, it’s unclear whether Dylan graduated from Chapman. Until Tuesday, Dylan Sidoo listed on his LinkedIn page that he was a 2016 graduate of the University of Southern California, but that claim was scrubbed from his bio after the scam became public. According to his profile, he is the co-founder of a Vancouver-based startup called Disappears.com Inc., which markets an encrypted messaging platform. He also is involved in investor relations for Advantage Lithium Corp., a mining and metals company, where his father had served as CEO until taking a leave of absence in the aftermath of the charges.
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