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College admissions fraud touches many parents

More parents seem to be feeling the pressure for their children to receive a degree from an exclusive college or university. These institutions have exceedingly high standards that often go beyond SAT test scores. Like many Ohio parents, you want the best for your child and would be willing to do whatever you had to if it meant obtaining admission for your child into an Ivy League or other prestigious school.

As recent headlines show, some of the lengths to which parents go to get their kids into Yale, Stanford or other elite universities include committing fraud and other white-collar crimes. While the recent admissions scandal involved the use of a nonprofit company created to assist kids on their path to college, parents, coaches and even students now find themselves defending their actions. You may have concerns if you are facing accusations of involvement in a similar scheme.

Charges filed against parents and others

Colleges and universities consider many factors when evaluating a potential student for admission. In addition to SAT scores, a university may require an applicant to have excellent grades from high school, achievement in a competitive sport and glowing recommendations from teachers, in addition to other items. A student who does not excel in every area may not meet the standards for admission. In this case, reports show that some parents have allegedly conspired with other parties to commit the following illegal actions:

  • Scheming to defraud and criminal impersonation by paying others to take their child's SATs or paying proctors to change their test answers
  • Identity theft in the form of using fake personal information to impersonate someone who may be eligible for admissions or scholarships
  • Bribery to college administrators and athletic coaches in exchange for special consideration for their children
  • Mail fraud, which includes sending money through the mail for fraudulent purposes
  • Wire fraud, which is similar to mail fraud but uses electronic transfers of money
  • Money laundering, which apparently included some parents paying bribes by depositing the money into a fake charity account
  • Racketeering, which occurs when a group conspires to commit an illegal act under the guise of a legitimate venture

The college admission process is stressful, and undoubtedly the most difficult part may be waiting to hear if the best school has accepted him or her. However, if you are under investigation for taking extreme steps to assist your child in getting into a particular college, you may be facing serious criminal consequences. You do not have to deal with this alone. Reaching out for the assistance of a skilled attorney may be in your best interests.

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