By Patricia Hurtado | Bloomberg
William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind of Varsity Blues University admissions fraud, has personally made nearly $ 28 million from the scheme, a government forensic accountant said.
Lauren George detailed the disgraced college consultant’s earnings for the first time on Wednesday as a government witness in the trial of two of her former clients. The singer has invested some of his money in Swansea City Football Club in Wales and Mexican restaurant chain Sharky’s on the west coast, according to previously released court records.
Private Equity Director John Wilson, 62, founder of Hyannis Port Capital, and former Director of Wynn Resorts Ltd. Gamal Abdelaziz pleaded not guilty in federal court in Boston to paying Singer $ 1.3 million to organize bribes to bring their children into Harvard, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
George was one of the last witnesses to be called by prosecutors, who finished their case on Wednesday afternoon. The defense case is due to start on Friday.
During his testimony, George said his review of Singer’s personal and business bank accounts showed that he made a substantial profit from the wealthy parents who were his clients.
âThe vast majority came from parents, around $ 26 million from parents,â George said of the funds that flowed into Singer’s personal accounts. The amounts she detailed were slightly higher than the $ 25 million then-US Attorney Andrew Lelling cited when he announced the case in 2019.
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The singer spent more than $ 20 million of her money, some of it on the program, she said. He paid around $ 7 million to various college sports foundations as well as school officials, teams and coaches who prosecutors say were involved in the fraud. Many of Singer’s clients, including Wilson and Abdelaziz, have reportedly paid to have their children falsely named as sports recruits.
Another $ 6.4 million was spent on investments and spending on personal businesses, George said, although she did not specify what it was.
She said the bank accounts of Singer’s admission consulting firms – Edge College & Career Network & Key – had deposits of over $ 43 million and withdrawals of over $ 34 million between January 2013 and February 2019. She did not explain whether this money paid into her personal accounts.
The singer agreed to cooperate with the United States and secretly recorded the parents, later pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy and other charges. He lost $ 3.4 million and a number of investments in his advocacy. Eventually, more than 50 people were charged in this case and 33 parents pleaded guilty.
Wilson and Abdelaziz are the first to be tried in this case. Both parents claim that the payments they made were meant to be legitimate donations, but that Singer lied to them about where the money was going or pocketed some of the money. During cross-examination on Wednesday, lawyers for the two men questioned George closely about the funds she had recovered from their clients. Abdelaziz believed that $ 200,000 of a $ 300,000 payment he made to Singer was a donation from USC, his lawyer said.
Defense attorneys said they plan to call former USC athletic director Pat Haden as their first witness.