A California entrepreneur pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying $250,000 to get his son into to the University of Southern California as a. Jeffrey Bizzack, of Solana Beach, California, was the 51st person to be charged in a that involved to get students into elite schools, including , and .
Bizzack, 59, is the 23rd defendant to, while the others are fighting their charges.
Bizzack entered the plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in Boston's federal court. As part of a plea deal with Bizzack, prosecutors are recommending nine months in prison, a $75,000 fine and other restitution to be decided during sentencing.
Authorities say Bizzack gave a total of $200,000 to a sham charity run by the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme and sent a $50,000 check to the USC "Galen Center," a campus sports arena, to have his son designated as a recruit for the volleyball team. His son was formally accepted in March 2018.
The consultant, Rick Singer, then made monthly payments of $20,000 to USC's then-senior associate athletic director, Donna Heinel, for her help getting Bizzack's son and other children of prominent parents into the school.
Heinel has pleaded not guilty in the case. Singer pleaded guilty in March and helped build the case against parents and others accused in the scheme.
When asked by a federal judge about the prosecution's account Wednesday, Bizzack said it was accurate to the best of his knowledge. Bizzack described himself as an entrepreneur who has worked in the tech and surfing industries. He said little else as the judge formally accepted his guilty plea.
He was released following the hearing and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30. The maximum he could face is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
In June, when Bizzack's plea deal was announced, his lawyers said he deeply regrets his actions and the effect it will have on his son. They said his son had no knowledge of the arrangement to get him accepted to USC.
Bizzack is among 15 parents that have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme, including "Desperate Housewives" actress, who admitted to paying $15,000 to have someone correct the answers on her daughter's SAT.
Those fighting the charges include "Full House" starand her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into USC as fake crew recruits. They are scheduled to appear in court in August.
A high school guidance counselorabout the sports credentials of some of the students admitted into USC. Prosecutors said the guidance counselor also raised red flags about the applications for Loughlin and Giannulli's daughters, who were admitted to USC as crew recruits.
In March, Yale University became the first school toof a student linked to the college admissions scandal. Former women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith gave bogus athletic endorsements to two students, one of whom was admitted to the school. Meredith was charged with taking $400,000 in exchange for facilitating the admission of the student. Also in March, said the school's policy is to rescind the admission of students who falsified their applications.