Oklahoma residents may have heard about the infamous college admissions scandal, otherwise known as Operation Varsity Blues. On April 21, a former soccer coach from the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed to plead guilty to accepting bribes in order to facilitate student admissions to UCLA. The 47-year-old man was the head coach for the men’s soccer team at UCLA between 2004 and 2019.
According to reports, the accused man accepted two separate bribes of $100,000 each from parents in exchange for pretending that their children were UCLA soccer recruits. The $100,000 bribes were a portion of the larger payments that the parents had made to Rick Singer, the alleged mastermind of the college admissions scheme. The former soccer coach will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
The accused man reportedly maintained that he was innocent for over a year before agreeing to enter into the plea deal. He could now face between 24 and 30 months in prison, but prosecutors have recommended a sentence on the “low end.” The man could also be facing one year of supervised release after a prison sentence as well as forfeiture of $200,000 and an unspecified restitution payment.
A person who has been accused of participating in a fraudulent scheme may want to speak to a lawyer about how to plead. A lawyer may be able to look at the evidence that the prosecution is using and determine whether they have a strong case against the defendant. In many cases, entering a plea deal right away is not a good move when charges involve fraud or other white-collar crimes that are difficult to prove.