Two families in China have been accused of shelling out millions of dollars in order to get their children into top U.S. schools.
According to reports, both families were the highest-paying clients of William “Rick” Singer, the alleged mastermind behind the college admissions scandal that involves dozens of wealthy parents, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
One family is that of 21-year-old Sherry Guo, who was accepted into Yale University after paying $1.2 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. She is no longer enrolled in the institution.
Guo reportedly moved from China to Southern California to attend high school. Her attorney, James Spertus, claimed that she did not want to attend Yale, but Singer pushed her to apply as he had connections there.
“Ms. Guo was not familiar with how people apply to schools in the United States. She wanted to go to Columbia University or Oxford University. She didn’t want to apply to Yale, but that was where Rick Singer had his connections so that’s where he pushed her to apply, much to her disappointment,” Spertus said, according to ABC News.
“In China, students are told where to attend school. So culturally speaking, Rick Singer’s instructions to her didn’t seem as out of place as they would to a student who grew up in the United States and has more of an expectation of free choice. I just don’t think the question of guilt is clear-cut in Sherry’s case, at all.”
Guo, who was initially identified as “Yale Applicant 1,” made it into Yale as a recruit for the women’s soccer team, according to The New York Times. Singer reportedly paid $400,000 to Rudolph Meredith, the former women’s soccer coach at the university.
Singer allegedly “revised” Guo’s personal statement containing links to an art portfolio to “soccer,” and days later, she was profiled as co-captain of a prominent club soccer team. Meredith, who then accepted her into the Yale team, has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges.
Another family, who was not named, is accused of bribing up to $6.5 million to get their child into another top school. So far, the amount is believed to be the largest bribe Singer had ever received through the scheme.
Both families paid significantly more than the 33 parents involved in the scandal, who reportedly paid between $250,000 and $400,000. Those parents now face criminal prosecution, but neither of the Chinese families have been charged.
Singer, who made $25 million from his operations, has pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in March. Huffman pleaded guilty to fraud charges earlier this month.