Longer Sentence for Admissions Scandal

Father in the case gets six months in prison.

November 18, 2019
Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe / Getty Images
Toby MacFarlane leaves a federal court in April.

There is a new judge handing down sentences in the admissions scandal -- and his first sentence was six months in prison, longer than any other parental sentence thus far.

Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton sentenced Toby MacFarlane to six months in prison, two years of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine. He had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

MacFarlane paid Rick Singer, the mastermind of the admissions scheme, $450,000 to arrange for the admission of his daughter and son to the University of Southern California.

Judge Gorton characterized the payments as a bribe. "So he thought he was going to make a gift to Mr. Singer and they'd miraculously get into USC?" Gorton said. "You don't have to use the word 'bribery' or 'bribe' to have an understanding of what was to happen."

Gorton called MacFarlane a "thief" and said that what he had done was no different from a common criminal.

MacFarlane called what he did the "worst actions I've ever taken in my life. I'm completely humiliated and shamed."

According to CBS News, MacFarlane had his daughter portrayed as a three-time "U.S. Club Soccer All American," even though she didn't play the sport. His son was labeled a basketball recruit -- and funds were sent to a USC athletics fund.

Another Guilty Plea

Also last week, Martin Fox pleaded guilty to using his role running a private tennis academy in Texas to use bribery (with Singer) to promote the admission of applicants to competitive universities.

Fox funneled bribe payments from Singer to a test administrator for the ACT and SAT for four of Singer’s clients. In exchange, the test administrator allowed someone else to purportedly proctor the exams, despite knowing that this person was not proctoring the exam consistent with ACT and SAT requirements.


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