Witnesses Involved with College Admission Scam Sign Plea Agreement

College AdmissionUpdated 3:37 PM ET, Tue March 26, 2019

Rudy Meredith and Mark Riddell, the two main witnesses of the college admission scam are now cooperating, both signing plea agreements with prosecutors in exchange for lesser sentences, according to released court documents.

Riddell and Meredith were involved with the college admissions scam: cheating on standardized tests for specific students and also bribing college coaches to falsely classify an applicant as a recruited athlete, making space available for paid admissions.

Meredith, who was the former coach for the women’s soccer team at Yale University, openly admitted to accepting bribes from wealthy parents in exchange for designating prospective students as recruits on the Yale soccer team, according to the plea agreement.

Riddell, who was the former director of college entrance exam preparation at IMG Academy – which is a private college prep school based in Florida, admitted that he filled out tests in place of specific students, providing answers for their exams and replacing them with the correct answers, the plea agreement states. IMG has since suspended him permanently.

Both employees were part of the huge college admissions scandal that prosecutors revealed two weeks ago, charging 50 people, including 33 wealthy parents, which involved carrying out a secretive scheme to get students fraudulently into elite universities.

In exchange for Meredith’s guilty plea, the US government is proposing that he receive a prison sentence at the low-end degree of the sentencing range and also 36 months of supervised release, according to the plea agreement.

The US government is also requesting for a sum of $866,000 in forfeitures, made up of lump sums of $308,225.61 and $557,774.39, which equal the total amount Meredith obtained from the acts he performed.

In exchange for Riddell’s guilty plea, the government is proposing that a prison sentence at the low end of the incarceration range, the plea agreement states.

The government is also considering a fine at the low end of the sentencing guidelines, a total of 36 months of supervised release, and a $239,449.42 fine, which is roughly the amount Riddell earned from illegal acts.

Riddell was typically paid about $10,000 per test, according to court documents.