Ali Khosroshahin, women’s soccer head coach for the University of Southern California from 2007-2013 and a technical adviser for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat professional soccer team from January-September 2018, is among the coaches indicted Tuesday in a federal probe of cheating and bribery in college admissions.
Khosroshahin (pronounced ho-SRO-sha-HEEN), 49, a Fountain Valley resident, is one of dozens of individuals allegedly involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits.
Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators, in the $25 million scheme.
Following an extensive FBI investigation dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” the Department of Justice indictment was unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Boston, and federal agents in multiple states immediately began arresting defendants.
Khosroshahin was among the first 13 defendants taken into custody Tuesday in the Los Angeles area, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, according to Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.
Arraignments began Tuesday afternoon in Courtroom 341 of the Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles.
Khosroshahin is charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was ordered released on $100,000 bond, Mrozek said.
Laura Janke, who was Khosroshahin’s assistant head coach at USC until his firing in 2013 after three consecutive sub-.500 seasons, is also charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Both Khosroshahin and Janke are scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston on March 25, according to court documents.
The indictment accuses Khosroshahin of taking bribes from co-defendant William “Rick” Singer to falsify college admissions applications and documents for students applying for admission to USC and the University of California at Los Angeles between 2012 and 2016.
Singer was charged in the indictment with racketeering conspiracy; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to defraud the US; and obstruction of justice. He pleaded guilty to all counts on Tuesday and is out on $500,000 bail pending his sentencing, scheduled for June 19 in Courtroom 12 before Judge Zobel.
“For example, Singer directed payments totaling approximately $350,000 to a private soccer club controlled by Janke and Khosroshahin,” the indictment reads. “In exchange for these payments, Janke and Khosroshahin designated four children of Singer’s clients as recruits for the USC women’s soccer team despite the fact that none of those children played competitive soccer.”
The indictment also calls for racketeering forfeitures in the amount of $356,047 against Khosroshahin and Janke, and another $75,000 against Khosroshahin.
Khosroshahin was a two-year (1989-90) soccer letterman at Cal State Fullerton before transferring to Cal State Los Angeles for his final two years (1991-92), according to his USC profile.
He graduated CSULA with a degree in business administration in 1994, then played with the Standard Falcons from 1995-96 and a with the Valley Eagles in 1997 in the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues. He held an “A” coaching license with the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Khosroshahin was head coach of women’s soccer for Cal State Fullerton for nearly six years, from March 2001 to December 2006. There, he earned Big West Coach of the Year honors three times and the team competed in three NCAA tournament.
He was USC’s women’s soccer coach for seven seasons, from January 2007 to November 2013. He led the team to a national championship in his first year and to NCAA tournament play four times. However, he was fired in 2013 after his teams scored less than .500 for three straight seasons.
Khosroshahin also coached internationally. He served as an assistant with Mexico during the 1999 Women’s World Cup. He was on Mexico’s U-19 Women’s National Program staff in 2004 and the U-20 team in 2005 and worked with the Mexican women’s team to prepare them to compete in the 2004 Olympics.
From March 2014 to December 2018, Khosroshahin founded a company named Road to College Soccer, “Empowering families and Perspective Student-Athletes to take control and find their Road To College Soccer,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
The company provided “advisement and mentoring for individuals and families, teams, clubs, schools” regarding academic standards, financial aid and planning, and “truths about recruiting from a college coach’s perspective.”
In January 2018, Khosroshahin was named a technical adviser for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, a United Women’s Soccer league team.
“He left in September,” Blue Heat owner Carlos Marroquin told SCVNews Wednesday. Marroquin said Khosroshahin was a short-term unpaid consultant.
“No money,” he said.
“We have too many characters in Futbol and not enough people with character,” Khosroshahin tweeted on Jan. 19.