California Businessman Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Case
BOSTON – A California businessman has pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate his son’s admission to the University of Southern California (USC) as a purported athletic recruit.
Jeffrey Bizzack, 59, of Solana Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Oct. 30, 2019. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of nine months in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $75,000 and restitution. Bizzack was charged in June 2019.
According to the charging documents, Bizzack agreed with William “Rick” Singer and others to pay an amount, ultimately totaling $250,000, to facilitate the admission of Bizzack’s son to USC as a purported volleyball recruit, when in fact he was not.
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 fraud and honest services mail 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. 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 cases.
The details contained in the court documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.