Every parent in Missouri wants what is best for his or her children, including attendance at prestigious colleges. However, due to the heavy competition for spots at the most elite schools, some wealthy parents have allegedly been willing to pay money to secure acceptance for their children at top universities through illegal means. The far-reaching scandal spans six states and has led to charges against 50 people, including business leaders, famous actors and the architect of the alleged scheme, who has since pleaded guilty.
Allegedly, the scheme began with a fraudulent charitable organization called the Key Worldwide Foundation. The founder of the organization then reportedly promised wealthy parents that he would assist their children to gain admission to elite universities in exchange for phony donations to the organization. Reportedly, the funds donated to Key Worldwide Foundation did not go to charitable causes. Rather, they allegedly went to bribe university officials and testing proctors to either obtain admission recommendations from coaching staff on the basis of false athletic credentials or to allow students to cheat on college entrance exams to make them appear to be more promising academic prospects.
One of the ways that the planner of the alleged scheme helped students to cheat on exams was reportedly by bribing test proctors to allow another individual to take the exam in place of the student. Authorities have also charged this individual with two counts of conspiracy.
E-mails between the parties involved in the plan allegedly demonstrate that parents participated with the full knowledge that it involved illegal activity such as bribery and fraud. A misguided but sincere attempt to do what is best for their children may have caused the parents to make poor choices. Those charged with fraud, bribery or similar white collar crimes may find it helpful to consult an attorney.
For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.