Several celebrities and public figures have been arrested for bribing high-ranking universities in the United States. Now, a Canadian man has also been charged in U.S. federal court as part of the bribing scheme. Canadian businessman, David Sidoo, was arrested along with A-list celebrities in the college admission bribing scandal.
News of the bribing scandal broke today on Tuesday, March 12. It was revealed that several prominent figures and celebrities have been arrested for bribing universities so that their children could be admitted to the schools. Lori Loughlin, from Full House and 90210, and Emmy-award winning actress Felicity Huffman, known for her role in Desperate Housewives, were among the many people charged.
David Sidoo, a well-known philanthropist and businessman from Vancouver has been charged with "conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud by cheating on college entrance exams and submitting falsified test scores to colleges," according to the indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The indictment states that Sidoo paid someone a whopping $100,000 just to take the SAT exam in place of his older son in 2011. The person flew to Tampa, Florida to write the exam for Sidoo's son and was told to get a mark close to Sidoo's previous SAT score, 1460. The exam is out of 2400 marks and the person who took the exam ended up scoring 1670 for Sidoo's son.
The falsified SAT score was then sent to Chapman University in Oregon, and later Sidoo's son was admitted to the university. He eventually enrolled in the school as a student.
In 2012, Sidoo also paid someone $100,000 again to take the SAT exam for his younger son. This person was told to get a high score since his son hadn't taken the exam before and had no previous results. His son got into UC Berkley with the test scores and he ended up attending the university.
This wasn't even the first time Sidoo allegedly paid someone to take an exam for his sons. The indictment says that someone has taken exams for both his sons on several occasions, including provincial high school exams in BC.
Sidoo's lawyer, Richard A. Schonfeld, has spoken up on the incident and Sidoo maintains that he is innocent. "David Sidoo has been repeatedly recognized for his philanthropic endeavors, which is the true testament to his character," the lawyer wrote in a statement to CTV News.
"The charge that has been lodged against David is an allegation that carries with it the presumption that he is innocent. We look forward to presenting our case in court, and ask that people don't rush to judgment in the meantime."
David Sidoo is a UBC alum and he played varsity football at the university. He was even drafted for the CFL and he retired from the sport in 1988. He now runs a private investment banking and financial management firm. Sidoo was also the founding shareholder of an American oil and gas company that was sold back in 2010 for more than $600 million U.S. dollars.
Sidoo is just one of the many parents have been arrested as a result of a criminal investigation called "Operation Varsity Blues." Generally, these parents have been charged for paying someone else to take their kid's admission exam and bribing coaches to put them onto varsity sports teams, no matter their athletic talent.