Speed Reads

operation varsity blues

America's largest college admissions scandal was apparently uncovered by accident

When U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters Tuesday about America's largest college admissions scandal ever uncovered, he said only that "our first lead in this came during interviews with a target of an entirely separate investigation, who gave us a tip that this activity might be going on." It turns out that the lead came in an unrelated securities fraud case in Boston, from a financial executive who, hoping for leniency, said the Yale women's soccer coach had solicited a bribe to get the man's daughter into the Ivy League university, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe report.

That father, who was not charged in the college admissions case, wore a wire when he met with Yale soccer coach Rudy Meredith in a Boston hotel room in April 2018, when Meredith allegedly agreed to list the daughter as a Yale soccer recruit for $450,000. Meredith, 51, started cooperating with prosecutors and resigned in November, without disclosing the wide-ranging operation. And Meredith reportedly led prosecutors to alleged ringmaster William Singer, who, prosecutors allege, was paid a total of $25 million from 2011 to 2018 to help cheat the children of wealthy parents into elite universities.

Singer began cooperating with the feds after they informed him he was under surveillance in September 2018, prosecutors say. Meredith's first federal court appearance is set for March 28 in Boston. The investigation, called Operation Varsity Blues, has led to charges for 33 wealthy parents, but it's still underway and more parents and coaches may still be ensnared.