College admission scam: Family of Chinese student admitted to Stanford paid $6.5 million to Rick Singer, report says
Rick Singer, the central figure of the United States college admissions scandal, was paid a sum of $6.5 million by the family of a Chinese student who was admitted to Stanford University, according to reports.
But it is yet to be determined whether the payment by the family was made to secure admission for their daughter in the prestigious university.
The scandal, which blew open in March, saw wealthy families across the country making widespread efforts to get their children admitted to top US colleges by fabricating their SAT scores, lying about their athletic skills and feigning deformities.
Celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among the dozens of people charged with crimes associated with the scandal. They made payments to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, which in turn fabricated the required documents.
It was reported on Thursday that the Chinese student's intentions concerning the payment made to Singer were not yet clear, CNN cited a source close to the investigation as saying. It added that there is a possibility that the family had done nothing wrong. The source said that Morgan Stanley adviser Michael Wu referred the parents to Singer.
A spokesperson for the firm said that it is cooperating with investigators. Wu "was terminated for not cooperating with an internal investigation into the college admissions matter," the spokeswoman said.
Reports state that the parents, the student, and Wu have not yet been charged in the scandal. The source said that the investigators were aware of the information from the beginning of the scandal, however, they did not have enough evidence to issue charges in March.
Stanford University also released a statement after the report, saying: "It's important to clarify that Stanford did not receive $6.5 million from Singer, or from a student's family working with Singer. Stanford was not aware of this reported $6.5 million payment from the family to Singer until today's news reports."
The central figure, 58-year-old Rick Singer, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court in March to running the largest college admissions fraud scam in the country's history through his small college preparation company in Newport Beach. Singer, over the course of seven years, is estimated to have taken nearly $25 million from wealthy parents to get their children into elite schools through fabricating their records.