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更新时间:2019/3/13 15:45:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

College Admissions Scandal: Actresses, Business Leaders and Other Wealthy Parents Charged

A teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a star soccer recruit at Yale. Cost to her parents: $1.2 million.


A high school boy eager to enroll at the University of Southern California was falsely deemed to have a learning disability so he could take his standardized test with a complicit proctor who would make sure he got the right score. Cost to his parents: at least $50,000.

一名渴望进入南加州大学(University of Southern California)的高中男孩被不实认定为学习障碍,以便他可以在串通好的监考员陪同下参加标准化测试,后者将确保他分数达标。他父母的花费:5万美元。

A student with no experience rowing won a spot on the U.S.C. crew team after a photograph of another person in a boat was submitted as evidence of her prowess. Her parents wired $200,000 into a special account.


In a major college admissions scandal that laid bare the elaborate lengths some wealthy parents will go to get their children into competitive American universities, federal prosecutors charged 50 people on Tuesday in a brazen scheme to buy spots in the freshman classes at Yale, Stanford and other big name schools.


Thirty-three well-heeled parents were charged in the case, including Hollywood celebrities and prominent business leaders, and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come.


Also implicated were top college athletic coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit undeserving students to a wide variety of colleges, from the University of Texas at Austin to Wake Forest and Georgetown, by suggesting they were top athletes.

从德州大学奥斯汀分校(University of Texas at Austin)到维克森林(Wake Forest)再到乔治城(Georgetown),牵连其中的还有顶尖高校的体育教练,他们被控收受数百万美元,将不具资格的学生认定为高水平运动员,以便将他们录取。

The parents included the television star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; the actress Felicity Huffman; and William E. McGlashan Jr., a partner at the private equity firm TPG, officials said.

官员表示,涉案家长包括电视明星罗莉·洛夫林(Lori Loughlin)和丈夫、服装设计师莫辛莫·贾恩鲁里(Mossimo Giannulli)、演员菲丽赛迪·霍夫曼(Felicity Huffman)以及私募股权公司太平洋投资集团(TPG)合伙人小威廉·E·麦格拉申(William E. McGlashan Jr.)。

The scheme unveiled Tuesday was stunning in its breadth and audacity. It was the Justice Department’s largest ever college admissions prosecution, a sprawling investigation that involved 200 agents nationwide and resulted in charges against 50 people in six states.


The charges also underscored how college admissions have become so cutthroat and competitive that some have sought to break the rules. The authorities say the parents of some of the nation’s wealthiest and most privileged students sought to buy spots for their children at top universities, not only cheating the system, but potentially cheating other hard-working students out of a chance at a college education.


In many of the cases, prosecutors said, the students were not aware that their parents were doctoring their test scores and lying to get them into school. Federal prosecutors did not charge any students or universities with wrongdoing.


“The parents are the prime movers of this fraud,” Andrew E. Lelling, the United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said Tuesday during a news conference. Mr. Lelling said that those parents used their wealth to create a separate and unfair admissions process for their children.

“家长是这起欺诈案的首要行动者,”美国马萨诸塞州联邦检察官安德鲁·E·莱林(Andrew E. Lelling)周二在新闻发布会上说。他说这些家长利用他们的财富为自己的孩子创造单独的、不公正的入学通道。

“The real victims in this case are the hardworking students” who were displaced in the admissions process by “far less qualified students and their families who simply bought their way in,” Mr. Lelling said.


At the center of the sweeping financial crime and fraud case was William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key.

这起庞大财务犯罪和诈骗案的中心人物是威廉·辛格(William Singer),他是又称“钥匙”(The Key)的大学升学机构边缘大学与职业网络(Edge College & Career Network)的创始人。

The authorities said Mr. Singer used The Key and its nonprofit arm, Key Worldwide Foundation, which is based in Newport Beach, Calif., to help students cheat on their standardized tests, and to pay bribes to the coaches who could get them into college with fake athletic credentials.

当局称辛格利用“钥匙”及其位于加州纽波特海滩的非盈利分支机构“钥匙全球基金会”(Key Worldwide Foundation),帮助学生在标准化考试中作弊,并贿赂体育教练,后者能让学生以虚假的体育证书进入大学。

Mr. Singer used The Key as a front, allowing parents to funnel money into an account without having to pay any federal taxes.


Parents paid Mr. Singer about $25 million from 2011 until February 2019 to bribe coaches and university administrators to designate their children as recruited athletes, which effectively ensured their admission, according to the indictment.


Mr. Singer appeared in federal court in Boston on Tuesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to counts of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice.


Sitting very still and wearing a dark suit, he described how he arranged for students’ SAT and ACT results to be falsified by sending them to take the exams in Houston or Los Angeles, where he had bribed test administrators. He described the students as believing they were taking the tests legitimately, but said that his test proctor would correct their answers afterward. Mr. Singer said he would tell the proctor the score he wanted the student to get, and he would achieve that score exactly.


In his testimony, he referred to his bribery and money laundering schemes as “a side door” method of admission.


“If I can make the comparison, there is a front door of getting in where a student just does it on their own, and then there’s a back door where people go to institutional advancement and make large donations, but they’re not guaranteed in,” Mr. Singer said. “And then I created a side door that guaranteed families to get in. So that was what made it very attractive to so many families, is I created a guarantee.”


One of the prosecutors, Eric S. Rosen, said that Mr. Singer had in some cases falsified students’ ethnicities and other biographical details to take advantage of affirmative action.

检察官之一埃里克·S·罗森(Eric S. Rosen)说,辛格在一些案件中伪造了学生的种族和其他履历细节,以便利用平权行动。

Mr. Singer also described how, after he became a cooperating witness and was told by the prosecutors and the F.B.I. that he could not talk to anyone about the case, he tipped off several families that he was wired and warned them not to incriminate themselves in conversations with him.


The judge set sentencing for June 19, and Mr. Singer was released on a $500,000 bond.


Most elite universities recruit student athletes and use different criteria to admit them, often with lower grades and standardized test scores than other students.


Mr. Singer helped parents go to great lengths to falsely present their children as the sort of top-flight athletes that coaches would want to recruit.


Mr. Singer fabricated athletic “profiles” of students to submit with their applications, which contained teams the students had not played on and honors they had not won. Some parents supplied “staged photographs of their children engaged in athletic activity,” according to the authorities; Mr. Singer’s associates also photoshopped the faces of the applicants onto images of athletes found on the internet.


“This is an extreme, unsubtle and illegal example of the increasingly common practice of using money to get an edge in the race for a place in an elite university,” said Christopher Hunt, who runs College Essay Mentor, a consulting service for applicants.

“利用金钱在精英大学的入学竞争中获得优势的做法越来越普遍,本案就是一个极端的、公然的、非法的例子,”为申请者提供咨询服务的“大学入学导师”(College Essay Mentor)公司负责人克里斯托弗·亨特(Christopher Hunt)说。

In one example detailed in an indictment, the parents of a student applying to Yale paid Mr. Singer $1.2 million to help her get admitted. The student, who did not play soccer, was described as the co-captain of a prominent club soccer team in Southern California in order to be recruited for the Yale women’s soccer team. The head coach of the Yale team, Rudolph Meredith, was bribed at least $400,000 to recruit the student.

在起诉书中详细描述的一个例子里,一名申请耶鲁大学的学生的父母向辛格支付了120万美元,帮助她被录取。这名学生从没有踢过足球,却被描述为南加州一个著名足球俱乐部的队长之一,以便被耶鲁大学女子足球队招募,辛格为此向耶鲁大学足球队的主教练鲁道夫·梅雷迪思(Rudolph Meredith)行贿至少40万美元。

After the profile was created, Mr. Singer sent the fake profile to Mr. Meredith, who then designated her as a recruit, even though he knew the student did not play competitive soccer, according to the complaint.


In its investigation, known internally as Operation Varsity Blues, the government focused on the 33 indicted parents. Those parents were willing to pay between $15,000 and $75,000 per test, which went to college entrance exam administrators who helped their children cheat on them by giving them answers, correcting their work or even letting third parties falsely pose as their children and take the tests in their stead, according to the indictment.

在内部称之为“校队蓝调行动”(Operation Varsity Blues)的调查中,政府将重点放在了33名遭到起诉的家长身上。根据起诉书,这些父母为每项考试支付1.5万美元到7.5万美元不等的费用给入学考试负责人员,那些人帮他们的孩子作弊,向他们提供正确答案、修改他们的答案,甚至让他人冒名顶替参加考试。

Mr. Singer instructed at least one parent, Mr. McGlashan, to claim that his son had learning disabilities in order to gain extended time for him to take his college entrance exam alone, over two days instead of one, according to court documents.


The government said that Mr. McGlashan’s son was told to take the exam at one of two test centers where Mr. Singer worked with test administrators who had been bribed to allow students to cheat. And Mr. Singer told Mr. McGlashan to fabricate a reason, such as a wedding, for why their children would need to take the test in one of those locations.


Mr. McGlashan’s son was unaware of the scheme, according to court documents.


Mr. McGlashan did not respond to an email seeking comment. TPG said that it had placed Mr. McGlashan on indefinite administrative leave effective immediately as a result of the charges.


When Mr. Singer explained the scheme last June to Gordon R. Caplan, co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Mr. Caplan laughed and said, “And it works?” according to a transcript of a recorded phone conversation between the two men captured in a court-authorized wiretap.

根据法庭授权的电话窃听记录,去年6月,辛格向国际律师事务所威尔基-法尔和加拉赫(Willkie Farr & Gallagher)的联席主席戈登·卡普兰(Gordon Caplan)解释有关计划时,卡普兰笑着说,“这能行吗?”

Mr. Singer told Mr. Caplan that his daughter would not know that her standardized test scores had been faked.


“Nobody knows what happens,” Mr. Singer said, according to the transcript of the call. “She feels great about herself. She got a test score, and now you’re actually capable for help getting into a school. Because the test score’s no longer an issue. Does that make sense?”


“That does,” Mr. Caplan said. According to prosecutors, Mr. Caplan paid $75,000 for the service.


A spokeswoman for Mr. Caplan and Willkie Farr did not respond to an email seeking comment.


Universities were quick to respond to the charges on Tuesday. According to the indictment, Stanford University’s head sailing coach, John Vandemoer, took financial contributions to the sailing program from an intermediary in exchange for agreeing to recommend two prospective students for admission.

周二,各大学迅速对这些指控做出回应。起诉书称,斯坦福大学(Stanford University)帆船总教练约翰·范德默尔(John Vandemoer)从一个中间人那里收取了帆船项目的资助款,作为交换,他同意为两名学生做入学推荐。

Stanford said Tuesday that Mr. Vandemoer had been fired. The University of Texas at Austin released a statement Tuesday saying that its men’s tennis coach, Michael Center, has been placed on leave. And at U.S.C., Donna Heinel, a top athletic director, and Jovan Vavic, the men’s and women’s water polo coach, were terminated. Ms. Heinel received more than $1.3 million in bribes and Mr. Vavic about $250,000 according to federal prosecutors.

斯坦福周二表示,范德默尔已被解雇。德克萨斯大学奥斯丁分校(The University of Texas at Austin)周二发表声明,称该校的男子网球教练迈克尔·山特(Michael Center)已被安排休假。南加州大学的运动项目高管唐娜·海内尔(Donna Heinel)和男女水球队教练约万·瓦维奇(Jovan Vavic)已被解雇。据联邦检察官称,海内尔受贿130多万美元,瓦维奇受贿约25万美元。

In a letter to the college community, Wanda M. Austin, the interim president of the University of Southern California, said, “It is immensely disappointing that individuals would abuse their position at the university this way.”

南加大临时校长旺达·M·奥斯汀(Wanda M. Austin)在给全校的一封信中说,“个别人竟然会以这样的方式滥用自己在大学的职位,令人深感失望。”

Like other college administrators, Dr. Austin said she did not believe that admissions officers were aware of the scheme or took part in it, and she described the university as a victim.