Watch CBS News

Wealthy Palo Alto Parents Greg and Amy Colburn Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) -- Two Silicon Valley parents admitted Tuesday in a Boston federal courtroom they paid a $25,000 bribe to cheat on their son's SAT exam, the latest couple to be convicted in the college admissions scandal.

Dr. Gregory Colburn, 63, and Amy Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud. The Colburns had agreed to the plea deal last week, six weeks before they were set to go on trial in federal court.

Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Mendell said in a statement that the Colburns agreed to plead guilty to their roles in a scheme to defraud The College Board by paying William "Rick" Singer $25,000 to bribe Igor Dvorskiy, a corrupt test administrator.

colburns getty images
Amy Colburn, left, and Gregory Colburn, center, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019.(Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Dvorskiy, in turn, arranged for bogus test proctor Mark Riddell to fraudulently inflate the score on the SAT exam taken by the Colburns' son, Mendell said.

Singer, Dvorskiy and Riddell all have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to their respective roles in the scheme.

As part of a plea agreement, the Colburns each have agreed — subject to federal court approval — to serve eight weeks in prison, along with a year of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $12,500 fine, Mendell's office said.

U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for April 14.

The couple are among nearly 60 wealthy parents, athletic coaches and others charged since March 2019 in the case dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues." The scheme led by Singer involved rigging test scores and paying off sports coaches to help students get into top universities across the country, prosecutors say.

The Colburns are the 36th and 37th parents in the college admissions case to either plead guilty or be convicted by a jury following trial.


© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.