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Former USC Water Polo Coach Facing Additional Charge In College Admissions Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Former USC men's and women's water polo coach Jovan Vavic has been hit with an additional federal charge for his alleged role in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions case, according to court papers obtained Wednesday.

Vavic, who was previously charged with racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail and wire fraud, now faces a charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, according to the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations Division in Boston.

The updated indictment alleges that Vavic accepted more than $250,000 in bribes to help parents take advantage of relaxed admission standards for athletes at USC even though their children were not legitimate student athletes.

Athletic coaches from USC - including Ali Khosroshahin, former USC women's soccer coach, and his former assistant coach, Laura Janke - were implicated in Operation Varsity Blues, along with others from UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others.

Of the 12 university coaches, administrators and employees charged in the initial indictment in March 2019, eight have pleaded guilty or agreed to do so. Vavic and Donna Heinel, the former USC senior associate athletic director, have pleaded not guilty.

Vavic and Heinel were both fired from the university last year.

The charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

An arraignment date has not been scheduled. Vavic has an interim status conference scheduled for Nov. 11.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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