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Mastermind of college admissions scandal sentenced to prison, ordered to forfeit millions of dollars

The mastermind of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal that rocked USC, Stanford, and other major universities was sentenced to three and half years in federal prison by a judge in Boston on Wednesday, the New York Times and other outlets reported.

William Singer, who is known as Rick, told U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel that he was ashamed of what he had done. “All my life I wanted to help kids and their families,” he said, according to the Times.

Singer, who turned government informant, was the last of nearly 50 people charged in the case to be sentenced. Zobel gave him the longest prison term of those involved, but not the six-year sentence prosecutors requested. The judge also imposed three years of supervised release and more than $10 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Singer was also ordered to forfeit millions of dollars in assets.

“There were very real victims of this scheme,” Stephen Frank, a prosecutor, told Zobel in the packed courtroom. He cited applicants who succeeded at sports at the highest level but were passed over for admission and millions of students who had faith in the system and played by the rules.

Dozens of people were accused of participating in a scheme to get their children into elite colleges by falsifying test scores, paying off coaches and exaggerating or making up athletic achievements.