A scandal has drawn attention to the desperate measures taken by wealthy, well-connected parents in Florida and around the country to get their kids into high-ranking colleges. One businessman was sentenced to four months in prison and 500 hours of community service after being convicted of playing a role in an admissions fraud scheme. The 53-year-old man was also fined $95,000. He admitted to paying $250,000 to a man providing services to doctor a student’s history in order to help his son gain admission to the University of Southern California.
While the man’s son did not receive an athletic scholarship, he was admitted to the university as a fake recruit to the water polo team. This meant that he had to meet lower standards for admission than a non-athlete student. The man is one of 15 parents who have pleaded guilty in cases related to the allegations of college admissions fraud. Actress Felicity Huffman was another parent caught up in the scandal. She was sentenced to two weeks in prison after paying $15,000 to an administrator of a test to correct her daughter’s SAT answers before submitting the test for scoring.
During his guilty plea, the man said that he recognized that his actions were unacceptable. He explained that he was motivated by his love for his son to do everything he could to get him into an excellent university. However, the sentencing judge said that the parents involved were not providing necessities for their children but helping them to get into exclusive colleges, providing a status boost.
White-collar crimes are often motivated by a range of personal factors, and some people may become the scapegoat in a wider-ranging investigation. A criminal defense attorney can help people facing fraud charges to present a strong defense before trial and in court.