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Newport Beach college consultant William “Rick” Singer, the man at the center of the college admissions scandal in the United States, reportedly received $6.5 million from the wealthy family of a Chinese student who he helped get admitted into Stanford.
Yusi “Molly” Zhao, daughter of Chinese pharma billionaire Tao Zhao, was admitted into Stanford in the spring of 2017 with Singer’s help. No one in the family has been formally charged in the scandal.
Citing sources privy to the case, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Zhao family met Singer through a Morgan Stanley money manager. To help guarantee Molly’s admission, Singer allegedly presented her as a sailing recruit.
It was not immediately known, however, how much information the parents or their daughter knew about the process Singer underwent in order to secure the student’s spot at the highly selective university.
Molly, who was majoring in psychology and East Asian studies, was expelled last month after the University discovered that her application contained falsified sailing credentials linked to a $500,000 payment to the University’s sailing program.
According to the student-run campus publication Stanford Daily, the student has since vacated her on-campus residence on March 30, three days before her expulsion was announced in a press release on April 2.
“We determined that some of the material in the student’s application is false and, in accordance with our policies, have rescinded admission,” read the statement.
“Any credits earned have also been vacated. The student is no longer on Stanford’s campus.”
During the investigation of the college admissions scandal back in March, former Stanford sailing head coach John Vandemoer became a cooperating witness. Under a deal with prosecutors, he will serve just 18 months for taking over $750,000 in kickbacks from a charity run by Singer. Vandemoer was fired from Stanford upon his indictment on racketeering charges.
Court documents revealed that Singer brought a student (now believed to be Molly Zhao) to Vandemoer in late December 2016 or early 2017. Despite having no experience with competitive sailing, Molly was provided with a falsified sailing athletic profile by Singer.
U.S. prosecutor Eric Rosen later confirmed that she was not admitted as a recruited athlete and was eventually accepted to Stanford “partly due to the fact that she had fabricated sailing credentials.”