A former assistant women’s soccer coach at USC and a Del Mar man have agreed to plead guilty in the ongoing college admissions probe, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering and will cooperate with the government’s investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Janke — an assistant soccer coach at USC from 2007 to 2014 — was previously indicted along with multiple co-defendants.
Toby MacFarlane, 56, a former senior executive at a title insurance company, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, prosecutors said.
The defendants were charged in March with conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach and other parents, coaches and university administrators, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to selective colleges and universities and to cheat on college entrance exams.
According to court documents, MacFarlane paid $450,000 to facilitate the admission of his children to USC as purported athletic recruits. Prosecutors allege that on Oct. 3, 2013, Singer — who pleaded guilty last month to charges, including racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice — emailed MacFarlane’s daughter’s high school transcript and college exam scores to Janke and another defendant.
Soon after, Singer caused a purported charitable organization he created, the Key Worldwide Foundation, to wire $50,000 to a private soccer club controlled by Janke and the other defendant, according to prosecutors.
Using materials provided by MacFarlane and Singer, Janke then allegedly created a falsified soccer profile for MacFarlane’s daughter, falsely describing her as a “US Club Soccer All American” in high school.
MacFarlane’s daughter was presented to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions as a soccer recruit, and was accepted to USC in March 2014, according to court papers.
On May 2, 2014, MacFarlane issued a $200,000 check to the Edge College & Career Network — known as “The Key,” Singer’s for-profit college counseling and preparation business — with “Real Estate Consulting & Analysis” written in the memo line, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On May 12, 2014, Singer issued a $100,000 payment to the private soccer club which Janke partly controlled, prosecutors say.
Also, in November 2016, Singer allegedly directed Janke to create a falsified basketball profile for MacFarlane’s son. Singer then emailed the profile to a USC administrator to present to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions as a basketball recruit. In February 2017, USC issued a conditional acceptance to MacFarlane’s son as a student-athlete. The same month, MacFarlane sent a $50,000 check to USC Athletics, and the following month USC mailed MacFarlane’s son a formal acceptance letter. In April 2017, MacFarlane issued a $200,000 check to KWF with “Real Estate Consulting” written in the memo line, federal prosecutors said.
Court dates for Janke and MacFarlane to plead guilty before a federal judge in Boston are pending.
Fifty people across the country have been implicated in the scandal, and some have also struck plea deals with prosecutors, including “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman.
Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges in the scandal.
Athletic coaches from USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, were implicated in the scheme. When federal authorities announced the indictments, USC announced that two of its employees implicated in the scandal — water polo coach Jovan Vavic and senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel — had been fired. UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo was placed on leave but later resigned.
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