College admissions rigging scam revealed in the U.S. with one Ukrainian implicated
How the scam worked
There were two ways to get accepted.
First – rigging entrance exams. A student asked for exam deferral under a false pretense, then he/she would choose one of the sham schools in Texas and California to pass the exam. In that school, a teacher who received a bribe provided the student with the right answers or took the exam instead of the student. Parents had to pay somewhere between $15K to $75K for such a service.
Second – cooperation with college coaches. After getting quite a large bribe – we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here – coaches would take a child based on the latter’s ‘outstanding athletic achievements’, even if they were bogus.
The leader of this crime ring was William Singer. He is the director of Edge College & Career Network engaged in facilitating college admissions. He received the funds for his services via the charity Key Worldwide Foundation. He worked with several associates who handled financial transactions and liaison with parents.
Among his alleged accomplices is Igor Dvorskiy of Ukrainian descent. He was the teacher who was paid (usually a $10K bribe) to help students with the right answers. He worked at California’s West Hollywood school, which was one of the schools Singer referred future students to take exams to. The name Dvorskiy is in the DOJ’s documents indicating his place of work. According to Voice of America, they are allegedly talking about a person of Ukrainian descent whose mother also worked in the field of education. Mr. Dvorskiy himself did not reply to the questions of reporters.
The list also includes representatives of other schools that facilitated the fabrication of ‘athletic achievements.’ The complete list is available in the article of The New York Times.
The scandal received an unprecedented coverage in the U.S. as nothing of similar proportion has ever been exposed. In addition, Singer also gave out the names of those who paid for getting their children into a college, and the list contains quite a few celebrities. Moreover, some of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions, such as Yale University and Stanford University, have also been implicated in the scandal. According to The New York Times, many children did not even know that their parents paid for their admission because teachers, who received bribes, were submitting their exam papers with the right answers for them. In light of that, the authorities will not bring any charges against the children and colleges will decide whether to keep or expel them. In contrast, their parents are facing 12 to 37 months in jail. Singer is facing up to 20 years in jail.
Previously we wrote about how a Ukrainian EduBirdie found itself at the center of scandal in the UK: it advertised its essay ratings on YouTube. We also wrote about the workings of essay writing industry in Ukraine and why it is illicit.