Before long, the school year will end, and your family may begin focusing on the matriculation process at the college or university of your child’s choice. Like many parents, you want the best for your child, and you may have done whatever you could to give your child the best chances of gaining admission to a prestigious institution of higher learning. Perhaps you helped your child with the essay portion of the admission process, hired a tutor for the SATs or maybe pulled a few strings at your alma mater.
You may have watched with interest as the new stories unfolded related to the college admissions scandals across the country. Dozens of parents now face criminal charges because they wanted to give their own children certain advantages in the college admission process. Unfortunately, the federal government is not finished prosecuting those it suspects participated in criminal activity to get their children into elite colleges across the country.
More arrests on the way?
So far, about 50 people are facing charges related to a single scandal involving fraud and other alleged crimes to gain admittance to prestigious universities for their children who may not otherwise have met the eligibility standards. The man behind the scheme admitted to assisting over 700 parents with admission to elite colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, federal prosecutors revealed that they sent letters notifying others that they are under investigation for the same crimes, including these and others:
- Hiring people to take the SATs or ACTs for their children
- Bribing test proctors to change incorrect answers on their children’s tests
- Bribing coaches to admit their children as athletic recruits even when their children did not participate in competitive athletics in high school
- Conspiring with others to commit fraud
- Money laundering by funneling bribery payments through a fake charitable fund
If you have received a target letter from the federal government or if you believe you may be under investigation for actions you may have taken to help your child with college admissions, you have a right to be concerned. Some of the charges prosecutors are levying include prison and other devastating penalties if they result in a conviction.
Because of the public outcry over this scandal, it is possible that the prosecution of future cases may be severe. Seeking legal advocacy as early as possible may help you prepare your defense and understand the alternatives available to you.