A California couple accused of paying $25,000 to cheat on their son’s college admissions test is being sentenced on federal charges in the sprawling bribery scandal
BOSTON — A California couple accused of paying $25,000 to cheat on their son’s college admissions test will be sentenced on federal charges Thursday in the sprawling bribery scandal.
Dr. Gregory Colburn, 63, and Amy Colburn, 52, of Palo Alto, faced prison time and fines after both abruptly pleaded guilty in January — six weeks before they were to go on trial — to money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges.
As part of a plea agreement, the Colburns each agreed — subject to the approval of U.S. District Court in Boston — to serve eight weeks in prison, along with a year of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and $12,500 fines.
Federal prosecutors said the Colburns agreed to plead guilty to their roles in a scheme to defraud The College Board by paying William “Rick” Singer $25,000 to bribe Igor Dvorskiy, a corrupt test administrator.
Dvorskiy, in turn, arranged for bogus test proctor Mark Riddell to fraudulently inflate the score on the SAT exam taken by the Colburns’ son, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said.
Singer, Dvorskiy and Riddell all have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to their respective roles in the scheme. Riddell was sentenced last week to four months’ imprisonment; Dvorskiy is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
The couple are among nearly 60 wealthy parents, athletic coaches and others charged since March 2019 in the case dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” The scheme led by Singer involved rigging test scores and paying off sports coaches to help students get into top universities across the country, prosecutors said.
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