BOSTON – A California man will plead guilty to charges in connection with using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate his son’s admission to the University of Southern California (USC).
Jeffrey Bizzack, 59, of Solana Beach, Calif., will plead guilty to an Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of nine months in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $75,000, and restitution.
According to the Information, Bizzack agreed with William “Rick” Singer to pay $250,000 to facilitate the admission of Bizzack’s son to USC as a purported volleyball recruit. On July 16, 2017, Singer emailed Bizzack asking for his son’s biographical information for the purpose of creating a falsified athletic profile. On July 26, 2017, Bizzack’s son sent Singer his academic transcripts, which Singer then forwarded to Laura Janke, a former USC assistant soccer coach. Janke created a fabricated volleyball profile for Bizzack’s son and sent it to Singer, who forwarded it to the senior associate athletic director at USC. It is alleged that, in October 2017, the USC senior associate athletic director presented Bizzack’s son to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions as a purported volleyball recruit. In November 2017, Bizzack’s son received conditional admission to USC as a student-athlete, and in March 2018, Bizzack’s son received a formal acceptance letter from USC. Beginning in December 2017, Bizzack sent a $50,000 check to the USC “Galen Center,” and made multiple payments totaling $200,000 to Singer’s purported non-profit corporation.
According to the Information, in July 2018, Singer began making monthly payments of $20,000 to the senior associate athletic director at USC in exchange for her assistance with facilitating the admission of Bizzack’s son and others.
Janke previously pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.
Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.
The details contained in the court documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.