Another parent in college admissions scam says he intends to plead guilty

NEW  YORK — Gordon Caplan, a former partner of an international law firm who has been tied to the college admissions scandal, said Friday he plans to plead guilty for his role in the scam.

“I take full and sole responsibility for my conduct and I am deeply ashamed of my behavior and my actions,” Caplan said in a statement. “I apologize not only to my family, friends, colleagues and the legal Bar, but also to students everywhere who have been accepted to college through their own hard work.”

Authorities alleged Caplan, 52, made a purported charitable donation of $75,000 to the fake charity Key Worldwide Foundation in exchange for Rick Singer — the architect of the scam — arranging for Mark Riddell to proctor his daughter’s ACT exam and correct answers after she had completed it.

Riddell, Singer and Rudolph Meredith — who had been the women’s soccer coach at Yale University since 1995 — were at the center of the nationwide scandal in which 33 parents were accused of using their wealth and means to help their children game the college admissions system.

Riddell, Singer and Meredith have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scam.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among the dozens of parents facing federal charges. Others charged include nine coaches at elite schools; two SAT/ACT administrators; an exam proctor; a college administrator; and a CEO who admitted he wanted to help the wealthiest families get their children into elite colleges.

“I want to make clear that my daughter, whom I love more than anything in the world, is a high school junior and has not yet applied to college, much less been accepted by any school,” Caplan said in his statement. “She had no knowledge whatsoever about my actions, has been devastated to learn what I did and has been hurt the most by it.

“My immediate goal is to focus on making amends for my actions to try to win back the trust and respect of my daughter, my family, and my community. The remorse and shame that I feel is more than I can convey. I intend to enter a guilty plea on the criminal charge brought against me in the Varsity Blues college admissions investigation and dedicate myself to trying to right this wrong.”

The defendants were each charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in what prosecutors have called “Operation Varsity Blues.”

Willkie Farr & Gallagher, an international law firm based in New York, said Friday that Caplan was no longer a partner. It initially suspended him in the wake of the allegations.

“Mr. Caplan’s departure is a result of his involvement in the college admissions matter and his recent statement regarding his intent to plead to a criminal charge,” the firm said in a statement.

Caplan is the second parent to say they intend to plead guilty.

Attorneys for Peter Jan “P.J.” Sartorio, the founder of frozen burrito company PJ’s Organics, indicated in court documents earlier this week he intends to plead guilty. Sartorio is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

 

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