New Details on Test Fraud in Admissions Scandal

April 15, 2019

Mark Riddell pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, federal authorities announced. The charges relate to his helping some of those accused in the admissions scandal earn high scores on the SAT or ACT.

The Justice Department released a summary of what Riddell has admitted to doing, along with William Singer, who organized the scheme:

"In many cases, Singer facilitated the cheating by counseling his clients to seek extended time on the exams, including by having their children purport to have learning disabilities in order to obtain the required medical documentation. Once the extended time was granted, Singer instructed the clients to change the location of the exams to one of two test centers: a public high school in Houston, Texas, or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood, Calif. Singer had established relationships at those locations with test administrators Niki Williams and Igor Dvorskiy, who allegedly accepted bribes of as much as $10,000 per test in order to facilitate the cheating scheme. Specifically, Williams and Dvorskiy allowed Riddell to take the exams in place of the students, to give the students the correct answers during the exams, or to correct the students’ answers after they completed the exams. Singer typically paid Riddell $10,000 for each test. Singer’s clients paid him between $15,000 and $75,000 per test … In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for the cheating."

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