The FBI and the US federal prosecutor's office have released the results of an investigation into corruption at six major universities in the country, including those belonging to the prestigious Ivy League. Since 2011, some 40 wealthy people, including actresses and CEOs of large companies, had transferred money under the guise of charitable donations, buying their children the right to higher education at elite universities.
Nine coaches and administrators, including Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer, received bribes totaling an estimated $6 million.
Before the entrance exams, families pretended that the child had a cognitive impairment so that they would be given more time to complete the task during the test. In some cases, another person did the work for the schoolchildren; in others, the teenagers had no idea that they were participating in a hoax. The coaches, in turn, helped falsify the results of these tests and put the names of the right applicants on the list of selected university athletes, who are entitled to priority admission. The offspring of the paying parents were put on this list even if they were in fact completely unqualified to attend the section that was supposedly recruiting them.
Prosecutors have proven that a 41-year-old Stanford coach was involved in two such stories. The man has been fired and will serve 18 months in prison. According to Vandemoer himself, he did not embezzle all the money he received, but spent it on developing his team.