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‘Varsity Blues’ mastermind Rick Singer pleads for leniency with sentence

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The mastermind of the national college admissions cheating scandal — known by his investigative nickname “Varsity Blues” — deserves no more than six months in jail, Rick Singer’s lawyers said in a new court filing on Wednesday.

Singer pleaded guilty in 2018 and has since assisted federal prosecutors in Boston with their in-depth investigation into bribes paid to athletic trainers, SAT and ACT proctors and others so students of wealthy parents could work their way into some of the most well-known schools in the country. Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were among more than three dozen parents charged.

William “Rick” Singer, founder of Edge College & Career Network, leaves federal court in Boston after pleading guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.

Steven Senne/AP, FILE

Singer’s lawyers said three years of probation, including 12 months of house arrest, would be sufficient sentence, but added “if incarceration is deemed necessary, a six-month sentence, followed by a period of freedom three years’ probation which includes community service, will satisfy sentencing purposes.

Singer’s cooperation helped prosecutors secure 53 convictions, and defense attorneys said it deserved the judge’s attention.

“Working closely with prosecutors and agents, he strategically planned and made recorded phone calls, attended cabled meetings, and conducted controlled financial transactions,” the defense wrote in a sentencing memo. “His cooperation contributed to the conviction of more than fifty people and widespread recognition of vulnerabilities in college admissions. Whatever may be said of Rick’s crimes, his cooperation led to major reforms to the detriment of his own safety and reputation.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 4. Prosecutors have yet to release their own sentencing memorandum.

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