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Mother Says Newport Beach Consultant Duped Her Into $6.5 Million Payment That Got Daughter Into Stanford

People walk by Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on March 12, 2019. (Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

People walk by Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on March 12, 2019. (Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

The mother of a former Stanford student acknowledged Thursday that she paid $6.5 million to the man at the heart of the college admissions scandal, but said she was tricked into believing the seven-figure sum would go toward scholarships, university salaries and programs for needy students.

The woman now considers her daughter, Yusi Zhao, to be a victim of a scam perpetrated by Newport Beach consultant William “Rick” Singer, according to a statement released Thursday on her behalf by a Hong Kong lawyer who said he represents the mother. He identified her only as “Mrs. Zhao.”

Yusi Zhao, who also goes by Molly, was admitted to Stanford in March 2017. Her family, who lives in Beijing, gave $6.5 million the following month to Singer’s foundation, according to the attorney, William Law.

Singer solicited the payment from Zhao’s mother, telling her the money would go toward staff salaries, scholarships and programs at Stanford that help students who could not otherwise afford to attend the prestigious school, Law said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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