This Is The Mastermind Behind That College Admissions Scandal

In early 2019, American media had to brace itself for one of the biggest college admissions scandals in American history. Dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," it involved a conspiracy that included bribing officials working in higher education and cheating the admissions process at several institutions (via The Guardian). In addition to that, test scores were fixed or falsified to ensure that certain kids got in while others didn't. 

Not only did the story blow up to be a shocking revelation and expose an orchestrated plan to breeze past a system meant to be fair, but there were also some big-name celebrities involved who were paying hefty price tags to ensure their children got into the best colleges in the United States. Notably, actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were two of the many wealthy parents charged for their involvement in the scheme (via CNN). They, along with dozens of others, were paying serious cash so their children could skip the admissions procedure that millions of people go through. Both women would do time in prison for the fraud, and the common denominator guiding them through the plot was a man named Rick Singer.

The man behind it all

Rick Singer (pictured above) is the California-born college counselor at the center of it all. Raised in Chicago, he masterminded the entire scheme and built a long list of rich clients that knowingly paid him money so their children could make it into the best colleges in America (via USA Today). In return, Singer was bribing college officials and coaches via his plan. When the Department of Justice uncovered its investigation and announced charges, Singer immediately pled guilty to a series of allegations, which included bribery, reported Reuters. But who is Singer, and how did he come to be the man behind a major college scandal? 

According to Rolling Stone, Singer went to school in San Antonio, Texas, and graduated from Trinity University, where he apparently studied business and counseling services. Singer purportedly wasn't too good in the world of business, so he leaned more toward his counseling experience and created a company, although he dabbled in both. After exploring the world of counseling in high school, Singer decided to enter the industry's higher education industry and created a college counseling business. This is where his story begins: The seemingly normal business would turn out to be a front, and Singer spent the latter part of a decade and a half in the world of college "counseling." But evidently, at that time, he unknowingly created a plan that would later expose corruption in college admissions.