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Solana Beach man pleads guilty to role in college admissions bribery scheme

Posted at 9:51 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 13:07:21-04

(KGTV) - A Solana Beach man became the latest parent to plead guilty in the college admissions bribery scheme.

Department of Justice officials announced Friday that 59-year-old Jeffrey Bizzack agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as part of “Operation Varsity Blues.”

The recommended sentence for the Solana Beach resident is nine months of prison time, a year of supervised release, a $75,000 fine and restitution.

Bizzack, according to DOJ officials, paid $250,000 through a third party to have his son admitted into USC as a volleyball recruit.

DOJ officials outlined the case against Bizzack:

“According to the Information, Bizzack agreed with William 'Rick' Singer to pay $250,000 to facilitate the admission of Bizzack’s son to USC as a purported volleyball recruit. On July 16, 2017, Singer emailed Bizzack asking for his son’s biographical information for the purpose of creating a falsified athletic profile. On July 26, 2017, Bizzack’s son sent Singer his academic transcripts, which Singer then forwarded to Laura Janke, a former USC assistant soccer coach. Janke created a fabricated volleyball profile for Bizzack’s son and sent it to Singer, who forwarded it to the senior associate athletic director at USC. It is alleged that, in October 2017, the USC senior associate athletic director presented Bizzack’s son to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions as a purported volleyball recruit. In November 2017, Bizzack’s son received conditional admission to USC as a student-athlete, and in March 2018, Bizzack’s son received a formal acceptance letter from USC. Beginning in December 2017, Bizzack sent a $50,000 check to the USC “Galen Center,” and made multiple payments totaling $200,000 to Singer’s purported non-profit corporation.

According to the Information, in July 2018, Singer began making monthly payments of $20,000 to the senior associate athletic director at USC in exchange for her assistance with facilitating the admission of Bizzack’s son and others.

Janke previously pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.”

The college admissions scandal has ensnared numerous university officials, athletic coaches and parents, including San Diegan Toby MacFarlane.

MacFarlane pleaded guilty on June 21 for his role in the scandal. Prosecutors said he paid $450,000 in bribes to facilitate his son and daughter’s entry into USC as fake athletic recruits.

Fifteen parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, have pleaded guilty so far, DOJ officials said.

Two high-profile defendants in the case, actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The couple are accused of paying as much as $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC.