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Elite parents tied to San Diego college admissions scandal appear in Boston federal court

elisabeth kimmel 1 03.29
Posted at 1:26 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 20:42:09-04

BOSTON (KGTV) - Two parents linked to San Diego in the college admissions scandal, Elisabeth Kimmel and Robert Flaxman, were among the 15 elite suspects who appeared in a Boston courtroom Friday as a federal judge discussed the case.

Kimmel, a former media executive, is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to ABC News. Prosecutors did not seek detention and reimposed her prior bond of $500,000.

Judge M. Page Kelley ordered Kimmel not to have contact with witnesses aside from relatives, however Kimmel was ordered not to discuss the case with them.

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Prosecutors believe Kimmel paid $475,000 to various organizations to gain admission for her children to the University of Southern California and Georgetown University.

Kimmel’s daughter was accepted to Georgetown as a tennis recruit in exchange for $275,000 paid through a family foundation, ABC News reported. The young woman graduated in 2017. Kimmel’s son was a track recruit for pole vaulting at USC, which led to a $200,000 payment, prosecutors said. He was admitted to the university in fall 2018.

Also in federal court Friday was Los Angeles real estate CEO Robert Flaxman, who is accused of gaining preference for admission to University of San Diego for his son and daughter. The judge reimposed Flaxman’s prior bond and held him the the same conditions of communication as Kimmel.

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According to the indictment, Flaxman took part in both college recruitment and entrance exam schemes.

Prosecutors said Rick Singer, who ran a college admissions company, doctored Flaxman’s son’s college essay and application and sent them to a USD varsity coach, later identified by the university as former basketball coach Lamont Smith. The admissions essay referred to the younger Flaxman’s volunteer work as the manager of a fictitious elite youth athletic team, ABC reported. Flaxman was emailed an invoice for $250,000 when his son was admitted, according to ABC News.

Flaxman’s daughter, who was accepted to USD but did not attend, had a proctor who was paid $75,000 to boost her ACT scores, prosecutors said.

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The 15 parents in court Friday included a Hot Pockets heiress, Napa vineyard owner, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and former Wynn Macau casino president. The elite families were not asked to enter a plea; a judge informed them of their rights and considered any special requests.

Kimmel was due back in court next week for an arraignment.

Associated Press contributed to this report.