The consultant at the center of the nationwide college admissions scandal blamed his “win at all costs” attitude, which he said was caused in part by repressed childhood trauma, for his actions in a letter to the judge who will sentence him the next week.
William “Rick” Singer, 62, who pleaded guilty in March 2019 to charges including racketeering conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 4 in US District Court. in Boston for running the scheme that federal investigators dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.
More than 50 people, including parents, coaches and others, have already been convicted in the case that involved bribery, embellished athletic achievements and cheating on entrance exams to get often unworthy children from wealthy families into some of the universities most selective in the US
In court documents filed Wednesday, prosecutors asked the judge to give Singer six years, which would be by far the longest sentence in the case. Defense attorneys asked for a year of home confinement, or a maximum of six months behind bars.
“For most, if not all, of my life, I have thrived on winning at all costs,” Singer wrote in a letter included in his defense sentencing memorandum. “My moral compass was broken, and more and more over time, choosing good over evil became less important than doing whatever it took to be recognized as the ‘best.’”
He expressed remorse in the letter, saying he now lives in a senior trailer park and is unable to get a job despite more than 1,000 attempts.
By being caught, he has been given “the opportunity for insight, atonement and redemption,” he wrote.
His lawyers, citing Singer’s acceptance of responsibility, his cooperation with the government investigation and his life helping the children, recommended a sentence of one year of home confinement, three years of probation and 750 hours of community service. If the judge decides that the prison sentence is justified, he asks for a maximum of six months behind bars.
“His unwanted notoriety has left him jobless, robbing him of his self-esteem,” the defense wrote. “He has tried to rebuild by volunteering in his community. He has boundless energy and ideas about programming for the young and underserved. He would be an asset to society if after sentencing he was allowed to continue his community service efforts.”
One of Singer’s attorneys, Candice Fields, said in an email Thursday that she had no further comment.
Singer received more than $25 million from his clients, paid bribes totaling more than $7 million and used more than $15 million of his clients’ money for his own gain, according to prosecutors, who said his fundamental role in the scandal deserves a sentence of six. -year of sentence.
“Stunning in scope, Singer’s plan was also impressive in its audacity and the levels of deception involved,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Her corruption of him and manipulation of others was virtually limitless. Singer is by far the most culpable of the Varsity Blues defendants, by orders of magnitude, and therefore deserves the longest sentence,” despite his cooperation with investigators, they said.
Prosecutors also asked for three years of probation, nearly $11 million in restitution to the IRS and forfeiture of about $8.7 million.
A voicemail seeking comment was left with a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Boston.
The longest sentence in the case so far has gone to former Georgetown University tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who received two and a half years in prison for pocketing more than $3 million in bribes.