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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

16 Parents Involved in College Admissions Scandal Indicted by Federal Grand Jury in Boston

Defendants indicted on fraud and money laundering charges

BOSTON – Sixteen parents involved in the college admissions scandal were charged today in Boston in a second superseding indictment with conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to use bribery to cheat on college entrance exams and to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities as purported athletic recruits.

The defendants, all of whom were arrested last month on a criminal complaint, are charged with conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., and others, to bribe SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow a test taker to secretly take college entrance exams in place of students, or to correct the students’ answers after they had taken the exam, and with bribing university athletic coaches and administrators to facilitate the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits. 

The second superseding indictment also charges the defendants with conspiring to launder the bribes and other payments in furtherance of the fraud by funneling them through Singer’s purported charity and his for-profit corporation, as well as by transferring money into the United States, from outside the United States, for the purpose of promoting the fraud scheme.

The following defendants were charged in the second superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering:

  1. Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, aka “Gamal Aziz,” of Las Vegas, Nev.;
  2. Diane Blake, 55, of Ross, Calif.;
  3. Todd Blake, 53, of Ross, Calif.;
  4. I-Hsin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, Calif.;
  5. Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, Calif.;
  6. Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
  7. Manuel Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
  8. Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif.;
  9. Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, Calif.;
  10. Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, Nev.;
  11. Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, Calif.;
  12. William McGlashan, Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, Calif.;
  13. Marci Palatella, 63, of Hillsborough, Calif.;
  14. John Wilson, 59, of Lynnfield, Mass.;
  15. Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, Calif.; and
  16. Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, Fla.

Three parents—David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada; Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, Calif.; and Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, Calif.—were previously indicted in connection with the scheme. 

An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled. Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 9, 2019