Three of the six people charged in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal have pleaded guilty to racketeering. William Singer, the founder of the Key Worldwide Foundation (aka “The Key”), pleaded guilty on Friday to a 16-count indictment related to college admissions fraud. Singer’s attorneys said he plans to cooperate with authorities, who previously charged the founder and the university leaders of the Key with orchestrating a fraud scheme designed to take advantage of affluent families’ ability to finance their children’s college costs. Singer instructed parents to bribe college officials to designate their children as “athletic recruits” for the teams they most desired, and then subject them to a competitive application process at institutions they felt sure were likely to accept them. He was not charged with bribery, conspiracy, or money laundering.

Meanwhile, four of the other Key Worldwide Foundation leaders charged with racketeering have maintained their innocence. Elizabeth Cook, an executive with nonprofit marketing firm ANOC , pleaded not guilty in court on Friday. Cook was charged along with her husband, Harrison, in a separate indictment, and is accused of working closely with Singer to help two of their children gain admission to the University of Southern California.

Lindsay Brubaker, a senior associate with the same company, remains in custody after pleading not guilty on Tuesday. Her husband, Chad, pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges earlier this week. None of the Brubaker children have been charged in the scandal.

Deanne Loonin, a high-ranking admissions executive at a university, pleaded not guilty to a racketeering charge on Thursday. The university’s president, Mark R. Becker, was also charged in the case, as well as Brian Gibbons, the athletic director at USC. Several admissions officials at other universities implicated in the scheme have pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


What is ‘The Key’ scheme and how did it get so big?

Former foundation founder of ‘The Key’ pleads guilty to college admission fraud