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Sat Oct 5, 2019, 12:21 PM

A once-acclaimed attorney who paid $75,000 to cheat on daughter's ACT sentenced to 1 month in prison

Source: CNN

A once-acclaimed attorney who paid $75,000 to cheat on daughter's ACT sentenced to 1 month in prison

By Eric Levenson, CNN
Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT) October 3, 2019

(CNN) A former high-powered attorney at an international law firm was sentenced Thursday to one month in prison for paying $75,000 to falsely boost his daughter's ACT score as part of the college admissions scam, the federal prosecutor in Massachusetts announced.

Gordon Caplan, 53, is the fourth parent to be sentenced to prison time in the scam that has led to charges against 35 parents. Prosecutors had asked that Caplan be sentenced to eight months in prison.

The broad admissions scam consisted of a test-cheating scheme and an athlete recruitment scheme, and those who participated in the test-cheating scheme have gotten lower sentences.

The actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to participate in the test-cheating scheme, was sentenced to two weeks in prison. Meanwhile, Stephen Semprevivo and Devin Sloane, who paid to get their children into prominent universities under the guise that they were recruited athletes, were each sentenced to four months in prison.

-snip-


Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/03/us/gordon-caplan-college-admissions/index.html

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Related: Fourth Parent Sentenced to Prison in College Admissions Case (U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Massachusetts)

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Reply A once-acclaimed attorney who paid $75,000 to cheat on daughter's ACT sentenced to 1 month in prison (Original post)
Eugene Oct 5 OP
GeorgeGist Oct 5 #1
beachbumbob Oct 5 #2
customerserviceguy Oct 5 #3
lsewpershad Oct 5 #4
Igel Oct 6 #5

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 12:47 PM

1. The rich are a protected class ...

they rarely pay enough for their crimes.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 01:01 PM

2. its enough to get him disbarred

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 01:10 PM

3. Perhaps temporarily

I'm much more in favor of enormous fines for these cheaters to be deposited with organizations that make scholarships available for poor students to get into college.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 01:42 PM

4. A Black mother jailed

5 years for lying about her address to get her Black daughter into a better PUBLIC SCHOOL.

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Response to lsewpershad (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 6, 2019, 11:08 AM

5. Devil's always in the details.

One's state law and had costs involved. There are specific laws for fraud against the government. My school sends counselors and APs out from time to time to check up on kid's addresses and when they find the kid isn't living in the district they almost always expel them with prejudice. There's a variety of reasons parents have to this kind of fraud, and a variety of reasons schools have for fighting it. I find the most convincing to be that those out of zone or district will more often have attendance problems, disruptive for both kid and teacher. I've also seen administrators not expel kids--immigrant family lives in district for 8 months, has to move because dad's been deported and so mom and kids move in with a cousin, one month till the end of school, let the kid scrape by. "Yes, the child is living in zone."

Note that this is also fraud. I'm sure that few have a problem with law breaking when they agree morally with the law breaker. (I acknowledge my bias here. But I know that it's bias.)

In this case, here's the status of defendants and their charges: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme. Charges against Caplan: "Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud."

https://whitecollarattorney.net/federal-sentencing-guidelines/ says for the first part, up to 20 years. But notice that this crime includes a lot of very, very bad acts: Defraud people of $20 million in retirement savings? In this law. Defraud the government of millions? This law. He had somebody take a test for his kid. Point to the victim (besides the kid). Right, it's a problem. The agency-internal guidelines are going to be rather more detailed, based on a reading of the statute and, more importantly, case law. They're unlikely to have the maximum if they know 99x out of 100 they'll be ignored.

But the government's recommended sentence was 8 months in prison, one year of supervised release, fine of $40,000. But that's not taking into account everything the defendant's lawyer says, the defendant's demeanor. And it's a guess. What's the harshest sentence that the judge is likely to accept?


The second half took some work for me to understand. "Honest services mail fraud" is, it turns out, a companion offense. It's all but meaningless without hooking up with a "real" offense, and this is added because somebody was indirectly hurt by what you did in a way that's hard to quantify. It goes back to "Point to the victim." Well, the kid whose test score would come back higher than he could pull off would stand a better chance of getting into a good school. If 12000 kids are going to apply and 5000 accepted in hopes of having 2500 attend, having this particular kid's scores high would increase the likelihood he'd been one of the 5000. That means there a chance that the kid who would have been #5000 is demoted to #5001 and is waitlisted. That kid was deprived of the right to honest services. ("Waitlisted" is a emotion-coddling term for "you didn't make the cut and there's just about no chance we'll call on you to attend, but if it makes you feel less rejected at actually being rejected, suit yourself."

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