A Los Angeles insurance and private equity executive agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge alleging he used fraud and bribery to cheat on a college admissions exam on behalf of his daughter, prosecutors announced Friday as two high-profile defendants were sentenced to prison time in the case.
Mark Hauser, 59, Hauser would be the 29th parent to plead guilty and the 42nd person overall to plead guilty in the college admissions case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
TV actress Lori Loughlin and her clothing designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were sentenced Friday to federal prison terms of two and five months, respectively, for paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to USC as crew team recruits, even though neither girl played the sport.
The “Full House” star and her husband were ordered to report to prison on Nov. 19 to begin serving their sentences.
Hausr plans to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in Boston federal court on a date to be scheduled. According to the terms of the deal, the government will recommend a sentence of six months in prison, a year of supervised release, a fine of $40,000 and restitution.
Federal prosecutors say Hauser schemed with Newport Beach college admissions counselor Rick Singer to pay a $40,000 bribe to help the executive’s daughter pass the ACT exam. As part of the scheme masterminded by Singer, co-defendant Mark Riddell traveled to Houston, Texas, where the girl took the test, ostensibly to act as a proctor but instead corrected the answers on the exam after she completed it, prosecutors said.
Two days later, Singer paid an intermediary, Martin Fox, $25,000, with the understanding that Fox would pass part of the payment on to Niki Williams, the test site administrator who allegedly allowed the cheating to occur. Singer also paid Riddell $10,000 for his role in the scheme.
Singer, Riddell and Fox have previously pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the government’s investigation. Williams has agreed to plead guilty.
The conspiracy charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
Sentences in the probe, which investigators dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” have so far ranged from the two weeks given to “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman to a nine-month term imposed on Doug Hodge, former head of a Newport Beach-based bond management firm.
Huffman was released Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for paying to have a proctor correct her daughter’s answers on a college-entrance exam.