William McGlashan, founder and former head of TPG’s growth and impact investing businesses, argued in a court filing this week that a single sentence in a letter that took him seven months to obtain from the government puts a big hole in the government’s claim that he took part in a college admissions cheating scandal.
In the new filing with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, McGlashan asked for documents and reports related to the investigation into his alleged involvement in the scheme, some of which he said could illustrate his innocence like the single sentence in the letter written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Kearney, who is part of the prosecution team.
The sentence in question said: “in an interview on or about September 27, 2018, [Rick] Singer advised agents, in sum and in substance, that your client would not be using the side door, but would be ‘going through his own connections,’” Kearney wrote, according to McGlashan’s new filing. The government claims Singer, who ran Key Worldwide Foundation, led the nationwide college cheating scheme.
Why is that sentence important? Because the government has argued that McGlashan backed out of participating in the cheating scandal after he learned in late October 2018 that Singer was under investigation by the IRS and other law enforcement agencies.
But the sentence from Kearney shows that is not true, McGlashan argued in the filing. And it’s possible the government is sitting on other evidence that could show McGlashan’s innocence, according to the filing. He asked a federal judge in Massachusetts to compel the government to give up more information.
“McGlashan moves to compel the full reports underlying the summaries the government has divulged to-date, as well as additional exculpatory and material evidence in the government’s possession related to his knowledge and intent with respect to Singer’s schemes,” the filing said.
Other disclosures that weaken the government’s case, according to McGlashan’s filing, included McGlashan’s son’s inclusion on a USC “VIP list” for students from families that could provide substantial donations to the school or had relationships with influential people associated with USC, the filing said.
The government also claims one of Singer’s associates, Mark Riddell, changed the answers on McGlashan’s son’s standardized ACT exam to boost the score. However, the government has not produced evidence that Riddell corrected the answers, the filing said. As well, the score McGlashan’s son received, a 34, was “not crazy,” an administrator with McGlashan’s son’s high school said, according to the filing.
McGlashan was one of 50 people around the country earlier this year charged in March in a broad FBI investigation of gaming the system to get their children into top universities. McGlashan, who pleaded not guilty, was wiretapped talking about the alleged scheme, run by Singer, according to the criminal complaint.
Singer’s alleged goal was to secure college admissions to his client’s children not on their merits, but through fraud, according to the Dec. 18 filing. This included “having the children purport to have learning disabilities in order to obtain the required medical documentation” and making payments to USC coaches and administrators to secure admission to the school through a “side door.”
The government said McGlashan conspired to pay $50,000 to have someone correct his son’s standardized ACT Exam after he took it, according to the criminal complaint. He also allegedly talked with Singer about setting up a fake athletic profile for his son that would allow him to be accepted into USC as a recruited athlete, the complaint said.
McGlashan said in the filing he made a $50,000 donation to Key Worldwide Foundation at Singer’s direction. McGlashan argued he did not pay into the scheme and backed out of it.
“McGlashan did not pay Singer a single cent in connection with the side door, which makes him unique among all defendants charged by the government with the side door scheme,” the court document, filed Wednesday, said.
Singer asked McGlashan for a photo of his son playing some kind of sport with his face visible so he could superimpose an image of McGlashan’s son onto the image of a kicker, the complaint alleges. This cost of the scheme was $250,000, the complaint said.
A grand jury in Massachusetts hit McGlashan and other defendants with additional charges in late October. The superseding indictment alleged the 11 defendants conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California to help their children get admitted to the school. The indictment also included additional charges of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud against four defendants, including McGlashan, according to a statement from the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office.
These two charges were related to the government’s claims that the defendants allegedly used bribery and other fraud to obtain false standardized test scores and admission to colleges as athletic recruits or members of other favored admissions categories, the statement said.
Action Item: Read more about the case here: https://bit.ly/2SbbhR0