California Businessman Sentenced in College Admissions Case
Defendant paid $250,000 to have his son admitted to USC with falsified athletic profile depicting him as a nationally ranked volleyball player, despite having never played competitively
BOSTON – A California businessman became the 12th parent to be sentenced in the college admissions case.
Jeffrey Bizzack, 59, of Solana Beach, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two months in prison, three years of supervised release, 300 hours per year of community service, and ordered to pay a fine of 250,000. In July 2019, Bizzack pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
The government recommended a sentence of nine months in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $75,000.
Beginning in 2017, Bizzack agreed with William “Rick” Singer and others to pay $250,000 to have his son admitted the University of Southern California (USC) as a volleyball recruit, even though his son did not play competitive volleyball. As part of the scheme, co-conspirator Laura Janke falsified an athletic profile for Bizzack’s son, which depicted him as a nationally ranked volleyball player, and included the photograph of another individual playing volleyball.
In October 2017, a USC athletics administrator, Donna Heinel, secured approval from the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions to admit Bizzack’s son. In December 2017, Bizzack issued a $50,000 check to USC’s “Galen Center” – a restricted account that operated under Heinel’s oversight.
USC mailed Bizzack’s son a formal acceptance letter in March 2018. Bizzack subsequently mailed a $100,000 check to Singer’s sham charity, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF). In April 2018, he sent a second check to KWF in the amount of $50,000 and had his company wire another $50,000 to KWF.
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.
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.