CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more

The 'really smart' 36-year-old Florida man who 'took college entrance exams' for 'cheating' students for $10,000 after their parents signed up to bribery scheme

The 'really smart' Florida man, 36, who 'took college entrance exams' for wealthy parents'

  • Mark Riddell, 36, is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering 
  • He allegedly sat tests for students and corrected their answers in test centers in Texas and L.A. 
  • He also actively helped students with their answers in some cases while they sat the test 
  • Among kids whose tests he helped along was Felicity Huffman's oldest daughter 
  • Riddell would fly from his home near Tampa to sit the tests in either location 
  • He was paid $10,000 per exam by the scheme's 'mastermind' Rick Singer 
  • Riddell did not have the test answers but was 'just a really smart guy', according to prosecutors
  • He is facing up to 25 years behind bars for his role in the scheme and is due before a judge on Wednesday 
  • Riddell was one of two cooperating witnesses who helped the government's case  

One of the key players of the college bribery scheme used by celebrities and wealthy parents to get their underachieving children into ivy league schools is a 36-year-old married man from Florida who allegedly sat tests in students' places. 

Mark Riddell is one of the 50 people who were indicted on Wednesday along with stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin for either using the scheme or facilitating it. 

He is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  

According to prosecutors, Riddell was paid by the 'mastermind' Rick Singer to fly to two test centers - one in Texas and the other in Los Angeles - where he had paid off test administrators and either take the SAT or ACT exam in a child's place or correct their wrong answers once they had finished. 

Riddell was the director of college entrance exam preparation at the IMG Academy - a world renowned sports school where athletes including Andy Murray and Serena Williams have trained. 

Mark Riddell either sat students' tests for them, gave them the answers during while acting as their proctor or corrected their tests after they'd finished them, according to prosecutors. He was the director of college entrance exam prep at IMG Academy, a famous athletics sports school in Florida, but has now been suspended over his alleged role in the scam

Mark Riddell either sat students' tests for them, gave them the answers during while acting as their proctor or corrected their tests after they'd finished them, according to prosecutors. He was the director of college entrance exam prep at IMG Academy, a famous athletics sports school in Florida, but has now been suspended over his alleged role in the scam 

Riddell typically earned $10,000 for every test he took in place of a student and payment came from Singer's fraudulent charity, The Key Foundation, according to the indictment. 

The 36-year-old did not have inside information but was 'just a really smart guy' who knew how to land specific scores on tests depending on the child's ability, according to prosecutors. 

Among kids whose tests he helped along was Felicity Huffman's oldest daughter's, according to the indictment. 

The family discussed using him again to take their younger daughter Georgia's test for her in 2018, according to prosecutors. 

He had just had a baby with his wife, Sandrina, when Huffman allegedly spoke to Singer about him sitting the test for Georgia.  

He allegedly flew to Los Angeles from Tampa in December 2017 and 'purported to proctor' Sofia while she sat the SAT. Riddell allegedly proctored Felicity Huffman's oldest daughter Sofia's SAT exam in December 2017. Sofia (second left) is shown with her younger sister Georgia and her famous parents. William H. Macy, her father, was not charged and Huffman did not use the scheme for Georgia

Riddell allegedly proctored Felicity Huffman's oldest daughter Sofia's SAT exam in December 2017. Sofia (second left) is shown with her younger sister Georgia and her famous parents. William H. Macy, her father, was not charged and Huffman did not use the scheme for Georgia 

Lori Loughlin was also charged for allegedly bribing administrators to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia, into USC

Lori Loughlin was also charged for allegedly bribing administrators to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia, into USC 

The indictment does not specify if he helped her during the test with her knowledge or if he changed her answers afterwards. 

He was not involved in Lori Loughlin's two daughters' entrance to USC.  

Ordinarily, Riddell would enter the test room after the child had taken the test to correct their answers. They were allowed in by one of two test administrators - Niki Williams or Igor Dvorskiy - who were also on Singer's pay roll.

In the case of Jane Buckingham, however, he took the entire test in her son's place because he was too ill to travel.

The boy, who was not aware of the scheme, took what he thought was his legitimate, college entrance exam in his bedroom with his mother watching over him.

Buckingham even supplied Riddell with a handwriting sample from her son so that he could imitate it.

Riddell has been told to forfeit more than $200,000 to prosecutors. He may also have to surrender his $220,000, three-bedroom home in Florida

Riddell has been told to forfeit more than $200,000 to prosecutors. He may also have to surrender his $220,000, three-bedroom home in Florida 

Riddell did not have all the answers to the tests but was, according to prosecutors, 'just a really smart guy.'

It is not exactly clear how many tests Riddell took for students or corrected for them.

Prosecutors have told him to forfeit more than $200,000 and any property he bought as a result of the scheme.

The 36-year-old lives in a modest, three bedroom home with is wife in Florida.

He has not yet responded to the allegations but is due in court in Massachusetts on Wednesday.

IMG, the private academy where he taught as the director of college preparatory exam, has suspended him.

IMG offers a student athlete boarding program which can cost up to $75,000 a year. The school prides itself on its sports facilities and counts Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova among professional athletes who use it to train in their off-seasons.

In a statement late on Tuesday night, IMG said in a statement: 'Today we were made aware of the charges against Mark Riddell. 

'Riddell has been suspended indefinitely as we investigate this matter.' 

Fifty people charged in college admission fraud scheme
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli spent $500,000 getting their two daughters into USC, according to prosecutors

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli spent $500,000 getting their two daughters into USC, according to prosecutors 

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli

Actress Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo are among the three most well known names on the list. They have two daughters, Olivia, 20, Isabella, 19, and Mossimo also has a son from a previous relationship. It is not clear which of their children is in college.  

Olivia is a YouTube star who has amounted millions of fans online but she is also enrolled at USC, as is their 19-year-old daughter Isabella. 

They allegedly paid $50,000 to get their oldest daughter into USC under the guise that she was a crew coxswain when in fact she does not row crew. 

Felicity Huffman is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to get her oldest daughter Sofia into USC

Felicity Huffman is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to get her oldest daughter Sofia into USC 

Felicity Huffman 

Huffman is best known for her role on Desperate Housewives. 

She is married to fellow actor William H. Macy but he has not been charged in the indictment. 

The pair have two daughters, Sofia, 18, and Georgia, 16.

Huffman is accused of paying $15,000  to have her daughter's exam proctored by Mark Riddell. 

Riddell was described by authorities as 'just a really smart guy' who would either sit tests for students, change their answers afterwards or help them actively while they took it in one of two test centers that was 'controlled' by the scheme's 'mastermind' Rick Singer. 

Huffman allegedly used the scheme in December 2017 but the indictment does not specify how Riddell allegedly helped her daughter. 

She considered using it for her youngest daughter, Georgia, but decided in the end that she did not need to, according to authorities.  

THE COLLEGE PROFESSORS, COACHES AND 'MASTERMIND'

Rick Singer ran The Key, a college preparation business

Rick Singer ran The Key, a college preparation business 

William Rick Singer, the 'mastermind' 

Singer is accused of leading the scam. 

He led a college counseling program and, according to prosecutors, also ran a fake charity through which he funneled bribes.

The scam worked in two ways; he would have people come into the exam to correct students' answers and he also then bribed sports coaches to offer them scholarships, in some cases for sports they did not even play. 

Singer cooperated with authorities as part of the investigation and continued taking bribes after he had been contacted by police. 

Some of his conversations were recorded by police who obtained a wire tap to listen in. He is facing a maximum of 65 years behind bars and has pleaded guilty on all counts he was charged with. 

It remains unclear if he will be given leniency given his cooperation. 

Rudolph Meredith 

Meredith is a women's soccer coach at Yale. In his bio on the college's website, he is heralded as the 'winningest' coach, with 24 seasons under his belt. 

Mark Riddell 

Riddell is the director of IMG Academy , a college entrance exam preparation company.  

Rudolph Meredith, the women's soccer coach at Yale
Mark Riddell, the director of IMG Academy

Rudolph Meredith, the women's soccer coach at Yale (left) and Mark Riddell, director of IMG Academy 

John Vandemoer 

Vandemoer is the head sailing coach at Stanford.   

Gordon Ernst 

Ernst is the head of women's tennis at the University of Rhode Island. 

He taught at Georgetown in the past and worked as a personal tennis coach for Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, while they were in the White House. 

John Vandemoer is the head sailing coach at Stanford
Gordie Ernst was Michelle Obama's private tennis coach when she was First Lady. He is now the head of women's tennis at the University of Rhode Island.

John Vandemoer (left) is the head sailing coach at Stanford. Gordie Ernst was Michelle Obama's private tennis coach when she was First Lady. He is now the head of women's tennis at the University of Rhode Island.

Igor Dvorskiy

Dvorskiy is the president of the West Hollywood College Preparatory School and he worked at the West Hollywood Test Center

Niki Williams 

Williams worked as a test administrator at one of the test centers Singer told parents he 'controlled'.  

Houmayoun Zadeg

Homa H Zadeh is a professor at USC. He is the Associate Professor and Director, Advanced Education Program in Periodontology. 

Michael Center

Center is the men's soccer coach at the University of Texas.  

Michael Center, the men's soccer coach at University of Texas

Homa H Zadeh (left) is a professor at USC. Michael Center (right) is the men's soccer coach at the University of Texas.

Donna Heinel 

Heinel is the senior women's athletics director at USC. She is alleged to have accepted a $50,000 from Lori Loughlin and her husband, among others, for admitting fraudulent tests.

Laura Janke 

Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC. She allegedly took payment from Loughlin and her husband for their youngest daughter. 

Donna Heinel is the senior athletic director at USC
Laura Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC

Donna Heinel (left) is the senior athletic director at USC. Laura Janke (right) is a former assistant soccer coach

Ali Khosroshahin 

Khosroshahin is the head women's soccer coach at USC. 

Jovan Vavic

Vavic is the head coach for the men's and women's water polo teams at USC. 

Ali Khosroshahin is the head women's soccer coach at USC
Jovan Vavic is the head of men's and women's water polo teams at USC

Ali Khosroshahin (left) is the head of women's soccer at USC and Jovan Vavic is the head of the men's and women's water polo teams at USC 

PARENTS 

Bill McGlashan  

McGlashan is a prolific private equity investor who is the founder and managing partner of the firm TPG Growth. 

He is also at the helm of The Rise Fund, a social impact fund he launched with Bono. 

Gregory and Marcia Abbott 

New York couple Gregory and Marcia Abbott, 68 and 59, were also named. 

Gregory Abbott is the founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a successful food and beverage packaging company. 

The couple, who have homes in New York City and Aspen, Colorado, allegedly paid a total of $125,000 to have someone take the ACT and SAT subject tests for their daughter so she could gain entrance to Duke University. 

Bill McGlashan
Gregory Abbott

Bill McGlashan and Gregory Abbott are pictured

Gamal Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz stepped down as president and COO of Wynn Resorts in 2016.

He is accused of bribing Donna Heinel, the senior women's athletics director at USC, to recruit his daughter for the basketball team in 2017. 

According to court documents, his daughter played high school basketball but was not gifted enough to get recruited as an athlete so he arranged for her to be one.  

He then made a $300,000 'donation' to the fictitious charity run by 'ringleader' Rick Singer and then made monthly $20,000 payments directly to Heinel. 

His daughter got into the college but never joined the basketball team, according to the documents. 

In a phone call with the fixer, they said: 'I’m not going to tell the IRS anything about the fact that your $300,000 was paid to Donna-- Donna Heinel at USC to get [your daughter] into school even though she wasn’t a legitimate basketball player at that level.'   

Jane Buckingham 

Buckingham is the owner of the now defunct market research firm, Youth Intelligence.  She sold the company in 2003. 

She is charged in the scheme for allegedly paying $50,000 to have someone else take her son's ACT exam in July 2018 because he had tonsilitis. 

Buckingham sent a handwriting sample for her son to a test taker and had him take a fake exam at home so he wouldn't know about the fraud, court documents indicate. 

Gamal Abdelaziz
Jane Buckingham

Gamal Abdelaziz, the president and COO of Wynn Resorts (left) and Jane Buckingham, the owner of the now defunct market research firm Youth Intelligence 

Gordon Caplan

Caplan is a financial attorney and partner at the firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. He lives in Connecticut.

He allegedly paid $75,000 to have Singer arrange a proctor to corrected his daughter's answers after she took the ACT in November or December 2018. 

Robert Flaxman 

Flaxman is the CEO, Co-founder, Crown Realty & Development, Inc, a real estate company based in Orange County. 

Gordon Caplan
Robert Flaxman

Gordon Caplan (left) is a financial attorney and partner at the firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Robert Flaxman (right) is the CEO, Co-founder, Crown Realty & Development

Agustin Huneeus 

Vineyard owner Huneeus owns a range of wines that are produced in Napa Valley. 

He allegedly participated in both the college entrance exam cheating scheme and the college recruitment scheme for his daughter in 2017 and 2018 by conspiring to bribe Heinel and Jovan Vavic, the USC water polo coach, to facilitate his daughter’s admission to USC as a purported water polo recruit, according to the indictment. 

Elisabeth Kimmel
Agustin Huneeus

Elisabeth Kimmel is the former president of Midwest Television. She sold it in 2017 for $325million. Agustin Huneeus, whose family owns vineyards in Napa Valley, was also charged 

Elisabeth Kimmel 

Kimmel, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the former president of Midwest Television. She sold it in 2017 for $325million. 

She allegedly used the scheme to get her daughter into Georgetown and her son into USC by pretending the former was a tennis player and the latter was a pole vaulter. 

Lis and Manuel Henriquez

Lis and Manuel Henriquez 

Kimmel ultimately facilitated $475,000 in payments to KWF, according to the affidavit.  

Toby MacFarlane 

MacFarlane and his wife Christy are well known on the San Diego social and charity circuit. 

He sits on the board of multiple companies and the family has their own trust but it is not exactly clear what he does. 

Elizabeth and Manuel Henriquez

Marjorie Klapper 

Diane and Todd Blake 

I-Hsin "Joey" Chen  

Amy and Gregory Colburn 

Marci Palatella 

Peter Jan Sartorio 

Stephen Semprevivo 

Devin Sloane 

John Wilson

Robert Zangrillo 

Steven Masera 

William Ferguson 

Martin Fox

Jorge Salcedo 

Bruce and Davina Isackson 

Mikaela Sanford

David Sidoo

Michelle Janavs   

Douglas Hodge  yeah

Views: 647

Comment

You need to be a member of CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever to add comments!

Join CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on March 15, 2019 at 7:20pm

I commend Caribbean Fever for publishing the pictures and names of these cheaters. Maybe they will pick up a collection for Riddell's defense and buy him another house if the one he has is taken away. Going to college is not mandatory  and persons who already have money could hire a tutor for their children to teach them how to invest and manage money, but ego has consumed them and they want to brag about their children graduating from an Ivy League school.

Comment by Lu on March 13, 2019 at 5:29pm
In actuality, are dumb as f**** Just like GEORGIA Bush, Jr. That's why they have to buy their way through acquiring degrees and using their influences to get positions with top companies. No news here, just a scheme practiced for several years just getting noticed. Be consumer savvy in trusting anybody's credentials.
I went to a college that I witnessed Asians, Russians, and Jews cheat on exams in their language and the professor said nothing and turned a blind eye. But as black students was even caught trying to do the Same thing; Exactly, they were called out. I knew racism and privilege TACTICS was a thing from a long time ago.

Celebrate your BIRTHDAY with CaribbeanFever on 107.5 WBLS, NY

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

FOR ALL YOUR DANCEHALL AND REGGAE NEWS CLICK PIC BELOWreggae dancehall queen 4

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{

PUMP IT! or DUMP IT! SAT & SUN NIGHT on Caribbean Fever 107.5 WBLS NY (GET YOUR NEW MUSIC PLAYED) SONG{S} BEING VOTED ON ARE {------ ) and {----- }

CARIBBEAN NEWS

Caribbean Fever with the best Caribbean News online!

 

SOME TOP BLOGS

Groups

© 2019   Created by Caribbean Fever.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service