A Malibu parent who paid $75,000 to William "Rick" Singer — the mastermind behind the college admissions — to fix his daughter's ACT exam has died by suicide.
Robert Flaxman, the 66-year-old Los Angeles real estate agent and former CEO of Crown Realty and Development, had spent one month in jail, 250 hours of community service, and $50,000 in fines for his involvement in the "Varsity Blues" scandal. He died at his home on Oct. 20.
Flaxman's attorney, William Weinreb, said that his client had been driven by a misguided desire to help his daughter get into a "lower-tier school" after years of troubles left her with a "checkered disciplinary record and modest grades."
Weinreb said that Flaxman tried to get his daughter's life back on track by trying to get her into a four-year college and that Singer told him his daughter wouldn't get into the University of San Francisco or any other school if she didn't have a good ACT score. Flaxman accepted Singer's offer to rig the test, Weinreb said.
And from Daily Beast:
The Real Deal, which first reported Flaxman's suicide, says the CEO of Crown Realty & Development controlled a $600 million portfolio before he was arrested in 2019. …
But Flaxman had a troubled daughter and he was desperate for her to land at a four-year college despite her poor grades and personal difficulties, his lawyer said in court papers.
He conspired with Rick Singer to have his daughter take the ACT at a Houston exam center where she got help answering questions from a corrupt proctor—and then wrote off his "donation" to Singer's fake charity on his taxes.
Flaxman—who bought a $12 million mansion after being indicted—sobbed and pleaded for leniency when he was sentenced. "What I did was wrong and I make no excuses for it," Flaxman said then.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help from a professional and call 9-8-8. The United States' first nationwide three-digit mental health crisis hotline 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors. Text "HOME" to 741741 in the U.S. and Canada to reach the Crisis Text Line.