How a former Yale soccer coach triggered the FBI's college bribery investigation

Ex-Yale coach pleads guilty in college scheme

At least 13 of the 33 parents charged in the massive college admissions scheme will appear in a Boston courtroom Friday where they are expected to enter pleas on conspiracy charges. This comes one day after a key defendant whose actions apparently exposed the scandal, former Yale soccer coach Rudy Meredith, became the third person in the case to plead guilty.

The parents who are expected to appear in court today are just the first group. The rest, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are due in court next week. 

Meredith didn't say a word as he left a Boston courthouse Thursday surrounded by a crush of cameras. Inside, the 51-year-old pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $860,000 in bribes to help parents get their children into Yale.

Court documents show that in 2017, Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the scheme paid Meredith $400,000 to get the daughter of a wealthy couple into the Ivy League school.

Meredith designated her as one of his recruits even though she had never played competitive soccer. This week, Yale announced it is rescinding that student's admission. Yale students are in Boston covering the scandal for the school paper.
 
"I think the biggest amount of closure that a lot of students would like to see is just a confirmation that everyone at Yale got into Yale fairly," one student said.

Meredith's downfall apparently came when he tried to work a deal on his own. According to federal authorities, he directly sought out a $450,000 bribe last year from a wealthy father. But that parent was already under investigation by federal authorities for securities fraud and the father tipped off the FBI ultimately exposing Singer's wide-ranging $25 million scheme.

In California Thursday, lawmakers proposed a series of measures aimed at keeping college applicants from cheating the system including requiring three college administrators to sign off on special admissions and banning special treatment for children of donors or alumni.

"It's clear by all of this that we need reform," said California state assemblyman Kevin McCarty. Another state assemblyman, Phil Ting, said, "We want to put faith back into the admissions policies that if you work hard you have a fair shot because right now you don't."

Rudy Meredith will be sentenced in June, one day after Rick Singer, who also pleaded guilty.

Among the parents expected in court on Friday include a couple accused of paying $200,000 to fake their daughter's volleyball records, and a father who allegedly paid $75,000 to have his son's ACT test answers corrected.