Yale student expelled over $1.2m bribe

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47709546

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Media captionHow US university admissions are broken

Yale University has revoked the admission of a student whose family is accused of spending $1.2m (£907,000) in a bribery scheme to ensure admittance.

An ex-football coach allegedly accepted a $400,000 bribe to fraudulently mark the non-athletic student as a recruit.

The case is linked to the same cheating scandal that snared celebrity parents Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman earlier this month.

The elite college in Connecticut said it was investigating the matter.

Women’s football coach Rudy Meredith, who resigned last November, was one of 50 individuals charged in the alleged college admissions scam.

The university’s website states that Mr Meredith is believed to have “provided fraudulent athletic endorsements to two applicants only; one was denied admission despite the endorsement, and the other was admitted”.

Yale will not name the student whose admission has been rescinded, but the university confirmed the case on Monday.

The Ivy League university, along with other top schools like the University of Southern California, Stanford and Georgetown, were targeted in the scam allegedly organised by mastermind Rick Singer.

The alleged scheme involved helping students cheat on entrance exams, as well as getting non-athletic students admitted on fake athletic scholarships.

Mr Singer was reportedly paid $1.2m by the Yale student’s family to facilitate the bribe to Mr Meredith in 2017. The two had been working together on bribery scams since around 2015, according to court documents.

Mr Singer sent Mr Meredith a copy of the student’s CV around November 2017, noting he would “revise” the applicant’s art portfolio to “soccer”.

Mr Meredith would later mark the applicant as a recruit for his team, “despite the fact that, as he knew at the time, [the student] did not play competitive soccer”.

Once the student was admitted in 2018, Mr Meredith received the $400,000 cheque from Mr Singer, prosecutors say.

Last year, Mr Meredith was caught by the FBI reportedly demanding another bribe, of $450,000, to designate an applicant as an athletic recruit for Yale.

He is expected to appear in court later this week.

The celebrities involved in Mr Singer’s scheme, as well as the targeted schools, are now facing lawsuits from parents and students.