Lithium executive pleads not guilty in biggest U.S. college admissions scandal

Lithium govt pleads now not in charge in largest U.S. university admissions scandal

BOSTON (Reuters) – The briefly ousted leader govt of Benefit Lithium Corp pleaded now not in charge on Friday to fees of collaborating within the biggest college-admissions fraud scheme in U.S. historical past.

A plaque is pictured at College of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

David Sidoo was the primary of the 33 oldsters charged within the rip-off to plead now not in charge. Prosecutors mentioned he paid $200,000 to the scheme’s accused mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, to prepare for other folks to take the SAT admissions examine for his two sons.

Some 50 other folks together with distinguished executives, Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman and faculty coaches had been charged within the scheme. Prosecutors say Singer made some $25 million over 8 years by way of bribing coaches and arranging for phony test-takers to protected shoppers’ kids spots at elite universities together with Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.

Sidoo, who was once briefly changed as CEO by way of Benefit Lithium’s board of administrators on Thursday, declined to talk to a reporter as he entered the court in Boston federal courtroom.

Singer on Tuesday pleaded in charge to masterminding the scheme, which highlighted the lengths that rich and robust American citizens would pass to cheat the high-stakes and high-pressure university admissions device.

One of the crucial faculties concerned, the College of Southern California, already has rescinded admissions provides to 6 scholars concerned within the scheme and mentioned it is going to assessment what movements to take towards scholars already admitted who took phase.

Benefit Lithium is within the means of creating a possible Argentine lithium mine. Lithium is a key factor in batteries for electrical vehicles.

Others distinguished executives accused within the scheme come with Douglas Hodge, former govt of funding company PIMCO; Manuel Henriquez, who resigned as CEO of strong point finance corporate Hercules Capital Inc; Gordon Caplan, who has been put on go away from his publish as co-chairman of the worldwide regulation company Willkie Farr & Gallagher; and TPG Capital personal fairness spouse William McGlashan Jr., who was once fired by way of the company on Thursday.

Loughlin was once dropped by way of the corporate that owns the Hallmark cable channel and LVMH’s Sephora good looks chain ended a sponsorship maintain her daughter, Olivia, on account of the fee. Loughlin’s husband, style dressmaker Mossimo Giannulli, additionally has been charged.

Each Singer and the oldsters imagined to have paid into the scheme may resist 20 years in jail if convicted.

Reporting by way of Ross Kerber and Nate Raymond, writing by way of Scott Malone; Modifying by way of Steve Orlofsky and Invoice Trott

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