Couple allegedly paid UCLA in Facebook stock to have daughter 'who had never played competitive soccer' placed on elite team
A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student, who had never played competitive soccer was reportedly named on the college's elite team alongside members of the US and Canadian national side, after her parents allegedly transferred Facebook shares worth $250,000 to the mastermind of the college admission scam to get her into the school, reports said.
The admission scandal last week revealed that wealthy families in the country had made a widespread effort to get their children admitted to top 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.
According to an indictment, the student, identified as Lauren Isackson, was given No. 41 in 2017 on a team of all-star players and required to stay on the side for at least one year.
However, Lauren did not make any appearances and played zero minutes during the season for her side that included five US youth national players and a member of the Canadian national team, Kennedy Faulknor, the Daily Mail reported.
Prosecutors said that Lauren's parents, 55-year-old Davina and 61-year-old Bruce, who is the president of a real estate development firm, spent over $600,000 to get their two daughters into UCLA and USC with fabricated athletic credentials.
Reports state that the couple from California handed more than 2,000 Facebook share, worth nearly $251,249, and donations to Singer. The money was said to be used in assisting "disadvantaged youth."
According to prosecutors, Lauren did not even play competitive soccer for a team or in a league before joining UCLA.
A university spokesperson, while talking to The Los Angeles Times, said that all teams at the school "include student-athletes with varying levels of athletic achievements."
"Some team members are on the roster for the purposes of preparing the team for competition, and may not play in games," the spokesperson added.
Lauren Isackson Never Played Soccer, But Received Spot On UCLA Program In Cheating Scandal https://t.co/dmHapFmTWE— Campus Sports (@CampusSportsNet) March 20, 2019
The UCLA men's soccer coach, Jorge Salcedo, has reportedly been placed on leave after the allegations. Reports state that he has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Lauren's profile on The Key Athletics Club, one of Singer's websites, states: "'Lauren Isackson is a standout high school senior at Woodside Priory Catholic School in Portola Valley, California. Whether on the track or on the field, Lauren is known for her speed. She is captain of her local club soccer team, and a solid middle-distance runner for Priory."
According to an affidavit, Lauren's mother Davina thanked Singer "from the bottom of my heart and soul for your persistence, creativity and commitment towards helping [our daughter]."
The couple's second daughter, an equestrian who has not been identified, was reportedly listed as a rowing recruit. Shortly after her test in 2017, the couple is accused of transferring an additional $101,272 to Singer's foundation.
Reports state that the couple had planned to assist their third child into college through the same means before the alleged scheme was outed.
Lauren's parents are both charged with conspiracy to commit and mail and wire fraud and face up to 20 years in federal prison. During an appearance at Moakley Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, Davina was warned by Judge Jennifer C Boal that there is to be "no discussion of the substance of the case with family members outside of counsel."
She was released on $1 million bond and was ordered to surrender her passport. While Bruce is set to appear in court in Boston next week.
Meanwhile, 58-year-old Rick Singer pleaded guilty in Boston federal court 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 $25million from wealthy parents to get their children into elite schools through fabricating their records.