Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Athletic Scandal Touches UCLA - Part 9

No soccer experience, but she still got a spot on elite UCLA team in college admissions scandal

By Matthew Ormseth and Richard Winton, 3-20-19, LA Times

Lauren Isackson’s athletic credentials were dwarfed by those of her teammates. She joined the vaunted UCLA women’s soccer program in 2017 alongside members of the U.S. and Canadian national teams — elite athletes accustomed to dominating the high school and club circuits, being the best in their leagues, their states, even their entire home countries. Isackson’s biography on the UCLA roster, meanwhile, lists her as an honorable mention all-league selection in 2014 for the West Bay Athletic League in Northern California.

But even that was false, according to federal prosecutors who have implicated Isackson’s parents in a broad conspiracy to sneak the children of wealthy and powerful families into top-flight universities they may not have been qualified to attend. Fifty people were indicted last week for their alleged roles in the scheme. Coaches, university officials and dozens of parents — including Hollywood actresses, business executives and a fashion designer — are accused of working in concert to rig college entrance exams and misrepresent applicants as recruited athletes. The Isacksons allegedly made their payment in Facebook stock...

Singer, who began cooperating with the government in a bid for leniency, called Isackson’s parents in September. With the FBI listening in, he told them his charity was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service and wanted to be sure their stories dovetailed.

Bruce Isackson insisted on talking in person, telling Singer that while he “can’t imagine they’d go to the trouble of tapping my phone,” he was “so paranoid about this [expletive] thing,” according to a transcript in the affidavit. Singer met Bruce Isackson at his Hillsborough home, wearing a wire. Bruce Isackson was recorded fretting about how the operation could unravel, and the embarrassment it would spell for his family.

“If they get into the meat and potatoes” of the scheme, he allegedly said, it could be “the front page story.”

“The embarrassment to everyone in the communities,” he said. “Oh my God, it would just be -- yeah. Ugh.”

Full story at

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