Ex-Stanford Coach Receives One Day Sentence Post Admissions Scandal
A former Stanford University coach has become the first person to be sentenced in the infamous college admissions scandal, Operation Varsity Blues.
On Wednesday, John Vandemoer, a woman’s sailing team coach at the university was sentenced to one day in jail, six months of home confinement, two years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine, according to The Washington Post.
The prosecution team originally sought 13 months of prison time, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Vandemoer pled guilty to receiving $610,000 in bribes from William Rick Singer, the ring leader of the whole scandal, to designate spots for the children of affluent parents on Stanford’s sailing team. He did not keep the bribes for personal use; rather he put all of the money back into the sailing program.
“His actions not only deceived and defrauded the university that employed him, but also validated a national cynicism over college admissions by helping wealthy and unscrupulous applicants enjoy an unjust advantage over those who either lack deep pockets or are simply unwilling to cheat to get ahead,” Eric Rosen, assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed on June 7.
Vandemoer read a statement during his sentencing, apologizing to the government, his wife, his children and everyone else for his conduct.
“The career I worked for 20 years is gone,” he told the court. “My freedom is in jeopardy . . . I deserve all this. I caused it. And for that I am deeply ashamed.”
The scandal was first uncovered in March when a federal court in Boston charged 50 people, including famous Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin, for allegedly paying bribes to get their children accepted into top higher education institutions. It included 33 parents, nine college athletic coaches, two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, and one college administrator.
Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, which facilitated cheating in standardized tests, used his non-profit to accept roughly $25 million from parents and to wire bribes to coaches who were part of the scheme.
In April, 14 parents, including Huffman, plead guilty while 12 others plead not guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges.
The U.S. Department of Education is also investigating eight colleges linked to the admission scandal to examine if any federal laws or rules were violated.