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UCLA Investigation Uncovered Key Elements of Mastermind’s Scam 5 Years Before College Admissions Scandal Surfaced

William "Rick" Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019. (Credit: Scott Eisen / Getty Images)

William "Rick" Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019. (Credit: Scott Eisen / Getty Images)

Five years before William “Rick” Singer became known as the mastermind of the nationwide college admissions scandal, an internal investigation at UCLA uncovered key elements of his scam.

The first indication of trouble came in a phone call to the school on May 13, 2014. The mother of a high school student wanted to appeal the university’s decision to reject her daughter’s admission as a water polo recruit. The daughter had never played the sport.

“During this conversation,” a report on the investigation said, “the mother stated she was ‘still willing to pay.’ When asked to what she was referring, [the mother] explained that she understood from [Singer] that she was expected to donate $100K to the program, for the admission of her daughter through athletics.”

The report shows UCLA had gathered evidence echoing the allegations in this year’s criminal case against Singer and showing that he was attempting to manipulate admissions to one of the nation’s most celebrated collegiate sports programs. University officials were concerned enough to interview Singer, who denied wrongdoing, and brief UCLA Chancellor Gene Block on the investigation.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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