Ex-water polo coach convicted in school admissions bribery – Boston Information, Climate, Sports activities

BOSTON (AP) — A adorned former water polo coach on the University of Southern California was discovered responsible Friday within the sprawling school admissions bribery scandal.

A federal jury in Boston convicted Jovan Vavic of fraud and bribery. He declined to remark after the listening to and left courtroom along with his household.

Vavic, 60, who guided USC’s males’s and girls’s water polo groups to 16 nationwide championships, obtained about $250,000 in bribes for designating unqualified college students as water polo recruits so they may attend the elite Los Angeles college, prosecutors stated.

Vavic’s protection argued he was simply doing what he might to lift cash for his dominant, championship-winning program as athletic officers on the college had demanded.

They additionally maintained by no means lied, by no means took a bribe and was a sufferer of USC’s want to guard its repute and canopy up a “pervasive culture” of accepting rich college students who might present donations windfalls.

The college, which fired Vavic after his 2019 arrest, has careworn its admissions processes are “not on trial.”

Nearly 60 folks, together with rich and well-known dad and mom in addition to school coaches and athletic directors have been charged within the Operation Varsity Blues case, together with “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her clothier husband Mossimo Giannulli.

Also Friday, a decide is scheduled to condemn Mark Riddell, a former Florida prep college administrator paid handsomely to take school entrance exams for rich college students in search of admission to elite universities.

The Harvard graduate, who emerged as a key determine within the wide-ranging scandal, admitted to secretly taking the ACT and SAT instead of college students, or correcting their solutions.

Riddell, who had been cooperating with federal authorities in hopes of getting a lesser sentence, pleaded responsible to fraud and cash laundering conspiracy expenses in April 2019.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins’ workplace, in a submitting forward of Friday’s listening to, requested the decide to condemn Riddell to 4 months in jail. Riddell’s legal professionals, in their very own sentencing memo, argued for one to 2 months in jail, saying he was neither the ringleader of the scheme nor a college insider, just like the coaches and school directors implicated.

Riddell oversaw school entrance examination preparation at IMG Academy, a college in Bradenton, Florida that payments itself because the world’s largest sports activities academy.

Authorities say the admissions marketing consultant on the middle of the scheme, Rick Singer, bribed take a look at directors to permit Riddell to faux to proctor the exams for college students so he might cheat on the assessments. Singer sometimes paid Riddell $10,000 per take a look at to rig the scores, prosecutors stated.

Riddell, who was fired from IMG Academy, made greater than $200,000 by dishonest on over 25 exams, prosecutors stated.

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