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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 10, 2020

California Couple in College Admissions Case Agrees to Plead Guilty

BOSTON – A California couple has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their daughter to the University of Southern California as a purported athletic recruit.

Diane Blake, 55, and Todd Blake, 54, both of Ross, Calif., will plead guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on a date to be specified by the Court. Diane Blake will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Todd Blake will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Under the terms of Diane Blake’s plea agreement, the parties have agreed to a sentence, subject to the Court’s approval, of six weeks in prison, a $125,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. Under the terms of Todd Blake’s plea agreement, the parties have agreed to a sentence, subject to the Court’s approval, of four months in prison, a $125,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. 

Diane and Todd Blake are the 27th and 28th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case.   

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 sentence of up 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 sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 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, Kristen A. Kearney, Karin M. Bell and Stephen E. Frank of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated July 10, 2020