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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

California Parent Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Case

Warehousing company owner admits to paying $75,000 to facilitate cheating on his son's ACT exam

BOSTON – The owner of a warehousing company for the shipping industry pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with his involvement in the college admissions case. 

I-Hsin “Joey” Chen, 67, of Newport Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for April 20, 2022. Chen was previously scheduled for trial on Jan. 13, 2022.

Chen admitted to his role in a scheme to defraud ACT, Inc. by paying William “Rick” Singer $75,000 to bribe Igor Dvorskiy, a corrupt test administrator, to allow Mark Riddell, a corrupt test “proctor,” to secretly correct Chen’s son’s ACT exam answers to obtain a fraudulently inflated score.

Singer, Dvorskiy and Riddell have pleaded guilty for their respective roles in the scheme.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant has agreed to a sentence, subject to the Court’s approval, of nine weeks in prison, one year of supervised release with 100 hours of community service and a fine of $75,000. 

Chen is the 38th, and final parent, in the case involving Singer’s exam cheating and athletic recruitment scheme, to either plead guilty or be convicted by a jury following trial.   

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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; and Mark Deckett, Resident Agent in Charge of the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen A. Kearney, Ian J. Stearns and Leslie Wright of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.

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Updated December 15, 2021