USC professor to plead guilty to tax charge in college admissions scandal

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A student wears a face mask at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California on March 11, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

A student wears a face mask at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California on March 11, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

An associate professor of dentistry at the University of Southern California who authorities say agreed to pay $100,000 to help his daughter get into the school will plead guilty to a tax charge in the college admissions case, prosecutors said.

Homayoun Zadeh, 59, has agreed to plead guilty to filing a false tax return, according to court documents. Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss more serious charges, including conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery and money laundering conspiracy.

Zadeh’s plea deal with prosecutors, which needs to be approved by a judge, calls for six weeks behind bars, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine. His attorney declined to comment.

Zadeh will be the 31st parent to admit to charges in the sweeping case, but the first parent to plead only to a tax charge.

The case uncovered a scheme in which wealthy parents paid huge sums of money to get their kids into elite schools with bogus athletic credentials or rigged test scores, prosecutors say. The money was funneled through a fake charity run by the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme, Rick Singer, authorities say.

Prosecutors say Zadeh deducted the payments he made to Singer’s foundation from his taxes even though he knew the payments were designed to facilitate his daughter’s admissions to the school.

The first trial for the parents still fighting the charges is expected to begin in September.

A plea hearing for Zadeh has not yet been scheduled.

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