When high school administrators asked wealthy California wastewater executive Devin Sloane (53) why his son got accepted to the University of Southern California as a water polo recruit even though he had never played the sport, Sloane "expressed outrage," reports NPR.
Today in court, Sloane choked back sobs in front of the judge, saying "he was doing what he thought was best for his son," by paying consultant Rick Singer $250,000 to make fake water polo photos of his son and bribing a USC coach to accept him.
On Tuesday, Prosecutor Eric Rosen explained how Sloane purchased water polo equipment, including a Speedo, water polo ball and Italy flag cap, and put his son in the family pool to stage water polo photos that were doctored to gain admission to the university.
Sloane then sent the photos to William "Rick" Singer, the consultant who masterminded the fraud scandal, and wrote, "Hope this works."
Rosen said Sloane used his dead mother as a prop for a fake donation and expressed outrage when high school counselors questioned why his son, who did not play water polo, was being recruited to play college water polo. Sloane's participation in the college bribery scheme, Rosen said, did not end "at the edges of his family's infinity pool."
Sloane, the founder and general manager of the Los Angeles-based water company waterTALENT, was sentenced to four months in prison, "ordered to perform 500 hours of community service and pay a fine of $95,000," according to NPR. Read the rest
In the wake of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, a new debate opened up, about the mundane, everyday ways that wealthy people buy their way into elite institutions: from hiring, poorer, smarter kids to write their kids' essays, to surrendering custody of your kids in order to misappropriate low-income tuition grants, to simply "donating" shit-tons of money to the school.
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Thanks to the college admissions scandal the issue of inequality and access to postsecondary education is now in our national conversation, but despite the glitz of the bribery scandal, the real issue is a much more mundane form of reverse affirmative action that allows wealthy Americans to dominate college admissions, muscling out better candidates from poorer backgrounds, especially Black students.
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There are some mysteries in the court documents related to the college admissions scandal: a pair of mystery students whose parents paid $1.2m and $6.5m in bribes to get them into top US educational institutions.
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Correctly blaming her parents for the smoking wreck that is her fashion and beauty career, Olivia Jade Giannuli has also physically withdrawn from the college she didn't want to attend anyway.
It is like when Will wanted Adidas and got Zips.
“Olivia blames her mom and dad for this scandal and for the downfall of her career.”
Loughlin, 54, and Mossimo, 55, were arrested in March after they allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.” They were each released on a $1 million bond.
While Olivia is technically still enrolled in the University of Southern California, a separate source told Us she “has withdrawn physically” due to fear of bullying.
Remember, Olivia! If they are laughing you don't need'em, and they aren't good friends! Read the rest
They put the hype in hyperbole. They put the tat in overstatement. They put the mountain in molehill.
This week's tabloids put the retch in stretching the truth, with sickening disregard for the facts.
What is “Destroying Hollywood?” According to the Globe, it’s the Michael Jackson child molestation scandal, in which superstars Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross both expressed support for the late pop idol, only to buckle under savage criticism and emphasized their sympathy for any victims of pedophilia. Or, as the Globe puts it: “Hollywood A-listers at each other’s throats over kiddie scandal.” Despite the fact that no A-listers (or B-, C-, or D-listers) have publicly attacked them. Evidently it’s the end of Hollywood as we know it. Tragic.
“My Life in Scientology Hell!” is the “explosive” exclusive dominating the cover of the National Enquirer, claiming that Tom Cruise’s daughter Bella is “breaking her silence for [the] first time.” Bella actually spoke out in official Scientology promotional materials about her joy at completing training to become an auditor, which would be really useful at tax time if only it meant she’d studied accountancy, rather than the Scientology version of "auditing," which enables her to help "train" new recruits.
I’m not one to carry water for this divisive cult, but it’s depressing to see the Enquirer twist Bella's words so egregiously. She wrote of her training, including “hard work . . . a lot of effort . . . meltdowns and running to the bathroom to have . Read the rest
Buzzfeed's Julia Reinstein reports that Yale “has rescinded admission for a student whose family allegedly paid $1.2 Million to get her into the school.” Read the rest
Do tabloid editors even read what their reporters write? It’s hard to imagine, given the disconnect between headlines and the barely-detectable trace elements of facts contained in the stories beneath them.
“Alex Trebek — Lung & Liver Surgery” reports the cover story of this week’s National Enquirer. But he’s had neither surgery according to the story on the inside pages about the beloved host of TV’s Jeopardy, who recently admitted having stage four pancreatic cancer. Is Trebek even poised to undergo such surgeries? Not according to the Enquirer, which says he “may be considering” such measures. Or maybe he isn’t considering them at all?
“Monster Moms Tell All,” screams the front cover of Us magazine, promising the inside scoop on Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman’s role in the college cheating scandal. But neither actress says a single word. About anything. The mag reports: “Now both women are trying to explain away their involvement.” Evidently they’re not trying to explain it to Us.
"R. Kelly Flunks Lie Test!” yells a spread in the Globe. A super-scientific what-could-possibly-go-wrong voice stress analysis of the beleaguered singer's appearance on TV with Gayle King shows that Kelly was stressed and therefore must have been lying. Why else would anyone be stressed appearing on national TV being accused of pedophilia? It boggles the mind why voice analysis isn’t used in criminal courts nationwide. Tom Cruise could have really used one in Minority Report instead of relying on those flaky precogs.
Sometimes you just wish that celebrities read their own press, so that they’re on the same page of the script as the tabloids. Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH News of the Times reports on Hollingsworth Hound's illegal bribe to get his son into an elite university
There's buying school buildings, making million-dollar "donations," photoshopping your kid's head onto a real athlete's body, hiring a grown man to take your child's SAT test, and then there's an admissions tactic that hasn't yet come up in the college admissions scandal – screwing the head of the school. Here's a hilarious – and tragic – clip from Forrest Gump to show us how it's done.
Via Reddit Read the rest
The University of Southern California, one of the schools heavily involved in the college bribery scandal, said yesterday that they will deny any current applicant who is involved with the scam. In fact, they've already identified and denied six such applicants, according to Buzzfeed.
USC is also in the process of investigating the students linked to the scandal who are currently attending USC, including Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, daughters of actress Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.
"If UCLA discovers that any prospective, admitted or enrolled student has misrepresented any aspect of his/her application, or that information about the applicant has been withheld, UCLA may take a number of disciplinary actions, up to and including cancellation of admission," a university spokesperson told Buzzfeed.
About half of the 32 parents who allegedly paid the California life coach to fix their children's applications wanted their kids to get into USC...
Now, USC officials say they're going to conduct a thorough, "case-by-case review of current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government..."
USC said Wednesday that it will deny admission any applicants "who are connected to the scheme."
It's easy to deny current applicants who have lied on their application or cheated in some way to make themselves someone they aren't. But let's see how USC handles the students who are currently enrolled at the university who cheated to get in. The fact that 19-year-old Olivia Jade (who allegedly pretended to be on her high school crew team even though she'd never participated in crew) was on a yacht owned by the Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees the day the story broke, makes this an especially interesting corner of the story to watch. Read the rest
Yesterday, news broke out that the Feds had uncovered the biggest college admissions scandal in US history. This involved over 30 families, including the families of actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. But now, it looks like the scandal has blown up into something much much bigger. According to NBC, the ringleader of the admissions scam, William Rick Singer, says he helped 761 families cheat their way into college. Or, as he slyly put it, he helped these families get into college "side doors."
William Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Boston federal court to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges, said in a phone conversation recorded by the FBI that he helps "the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school."
Singer said he facilitated 761 "side doors" to admission.
"They want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don't want me messing around with this thing," he said, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. "And so they want in at certain schools."
Image: Yale University/Pixabay Read the rest
Yesterday, federal authorities announced 50 indictments of college personnel, wealthy parents, and fixers who ran a multi-million-dollar bribery ring that ensured that the slow, plodding, undeserving fruit of wealthy grifters' loins could be admitted to the top universities in America.
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Since 2013, I've been reading in the Times of India's RSS feed about the Vyapam scandal that has shaken the state of Madhya Pradesh to the very highest levels, but I never understood exactly how insane and massive the scandal was until I read Aman Sethi's cogent, comprehensive A-to-Z in today's Guardian. Read the rest