Education

Former Stanford Sailing Coach Linked To Admissions Bribery Scam Sentenced

SHUTTERSTOCK/ jejim

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

A former Stanford University sailing coach linked to the college admissions scandal was the first person to be sentenced, but skirted significant prison time in a Boston federal court Wednesday.

John Vandemoer, 41, must pay a $10,000 fine, Law360 reporter Chris Villani tweeted Wednesday.

He will also be given two years of supervised release, and six months of home confinement, according to USA Today.

Prosecutors were seeking over a year of prison for the former coach, who they say accepted $610,000 in bribes to help admit two students as recruits, NPR reported. The two students did not end up attending the school.

The scandal was revealed March 12. Federal officials accused William Rick Singer of running a phony charity, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), to help parents get their children into the top schools by facilitating bribes. The scam included cheating the SAT and ACT college entry exams and bribing college athletic coaches.

Vandemoer’s lawyers painted him as a family man and argued the former coach did not take money for himself, but put it toward uniforms, equipment and an assistant coach, according to NPR. The lawyers fought to have their client receive probation rather than prison time.

“Vandemoer’s intent, while misguided, was to help the sailing program he loved,” his lawyers wrote, NPR reported. (RELATED: Georgetown Intends To Expel Two Students In Admissions Bribery Scandal)

Federal Judge Rya Zobel thought Vandemoer deserved a punishment, but not prison since the money went to the school rather than his own pocket, according to USA Today.

Stanford is working with state officials to figure out a way to redirect the funds given to the sailing program through the fraud, the university said in a statement Monday. The school also hired Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP to conduct an external review of the admissions process and to check if other violations occurred.

Some parents in the scandal, like “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty for their involvement while parents like “Full House” star Lori Loughlin are fighting the charges, NPR reported.

Stanford did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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