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March 8
1913 - Castaic Range War: Chromicle ally Billy Rose shoots, wounds landowner William W. Jenkins [story]
Bill Jenkins


| Monday, Apr 8, 2019
Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy at a ceremony for Huffman and Macy to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2012. Macy is not charged in the college admissions scandal. | Photo: Angela George/WMC 3.0.
Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy at a ceremony for Huffman and Macy to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2012. Macy is not charged in the college admissions scandal. | Photo: Angela George/WMC 3.0.

 

BOSTON – Actress Felicity Huffman and 12 more parents charged in the college admissions scandal will plead guilty to using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities, while one coach also agreed to plead guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts announced Monday.

The defendants were arrested last month and charged with conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., and others, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities.

The conspiracy involved bribing SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow a test taker to secretly take college entrance exams in place of students, or to correct the students’ answers after they had taken the exam, and bribing university athletic coaches and administrators to facilitate the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits.

The following defendants were charged in an Information with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and have agreed to plead guilty pursuant to plea agreements:

* Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., together with his wife, Marcia, agreed to pay Singer $125,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their daughter;
* Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
* Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $50,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son;
* Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., agreed to pay Singer $75,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
* Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $75,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
* Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer at least $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her oldest daughter;
* Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $300,000 to participate in both the college entrance exam cheating scheme and the college recruitment scheme for his daughter;
* Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son;
* Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
* Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $400,000 to participate in the college recruitment scheme for his son; and
* Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $250,000 to participate in the college recruitment scheme for his son.

In addition, Bruce Isackson, 61, and Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif., were charged in a separate Information and have both agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Bruce Isackson will also plead guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. The Isacksons agreed to pay Singer an amount, ultimately totaling $600,000, to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their younger daughter and the college recruitment scheme for both of their daughters.

The Isacksons also underpaid their federal income taxes by deducting the bribe payments as purported charitable contributions. The Isacksons are cooperating with the government’s investigation.

Michael Center, 54, of Austin, Texas, the former head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin, was charged in a third Information and has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

In 2015, Center personally accepted $60,000 in cash from Singer, as well as $40,000 directed to the University of Texas tennis program, in exchange for designating the child of one of Singer’s clients as a tennis recruit, thereby facilitating his admission to the University of Texas.

All of the defendants who improperly took tax deductions for the bribe payments have agreed to cooperate with the IRS to pay back taxes.

Plea hearings have not yet been scheduled by the Court. Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering.

The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a maximum sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement Monday. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Mar 8, 2021
CHP Arrests Lancaster Corrections Officer on Suspicion of DUI
California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Lancaster corrections officer on suspicion of driving under the influence after his blood-alcohol level was allegedly three times the legal limit Thursday night.
Monday, Mar 8, 2021
Henry Mayo Administers 1,000 COVID-19 Vaccines to SCV Educators
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia planned to administer 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to SCV educators and school site staff who are in the early stages of having returned to campuses or planning to return to campuses.
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Lancaster corrections officer on suspicion of driving under the influence after his blood-alcohol level was allegedly three times the legal limit Thursday night.
CHP Arrests Lancaster Corrections Officer on Suspicion of DUI
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia planned to administer 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to SCV educators and school site staff who are in the early stages of having returned to campuses or planning to return to campuses.
Henry Mayo Administers 1,000 COVID-19 Vaccines to SCV Educators
1913 - Castaic Range War: Chromicle ally Billy Rose shoots, wounds landowner William W. Jenkins [story]
Bill Jenkins
1976 - Groundbreaking for new First Presbyterian Church in Newhall; former structure heavily damaged in 1971 earthquake [story]
First Presbyterian Church
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages
Following months of renovations and preparation for a grand reopening, the city of Santa Clarita-owned ice rink has a new name and brand, The Cube - Ice and Entertainment Center.
City Reveals New Name of City-Owned Ice Rink
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Newhall School District Announces First Junior Kindergarten Program in SCV
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Allocation to Increase Next Week; SCV Cases Total 26,403
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
SCV Adventure Play Foundation to Host Virtual Spring Thing Fling Fundraiser
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
L.A. County Library, LACMA Partner to Offer Virtual Arts Programs
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
Whittaker-Bermite Owner Files Bankruptcy, Selling Land
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Hart District Mulls Over Possible March 29 Return
The Santa Clarita Valley is now home to a new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, following a recent vote from the association’s board of directors.
NAACP Branch Coming to Santa Clarita Valley
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