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Press Release

California Parents Sentenced in College Admissions Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Couple paid $25,000 to facilitate cheating on their son’s SAT exam

BOSTON – Two Silicon Valley parents were sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with their involvement in the college admissions case. 

Gregory Colburn, M.D., 65, and Amy Colburn, 53, of Palo Alto, Calif., were each sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to eight weeks in prison, one year of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $12,500. On Dec. 7, 2021, the Colburns pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud. 

The Colburns conspired with William “Rick” Singer and others to defraud The College Board by agreeing to cheat on their son’s SAT exam. As part of the scheme, the Colburns paid Singer $25,000 in the form of purported donations to Singer’s sham charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation. In exchange, Singer bribed Igor Dvorskiy, a corrupt test administrator, to allow Mark Riddell, a corrupt test “proctor,” to secretly correct the Colburns’ son’s SAT exam answers to obtain a fraudulently inflated score.

On April 8, 2022, Riddell was sentenced to four months in prison and two years of supervised release. Riddell was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and forfeit $239,449. Singer and Dvorskiy previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Gregory Colburn and Amy Colburn are the 33rd and 34th parents to be sentenced in the college admissions case.   

Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here:

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; 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 Stephen E. Frank, Kristen A. Kearney, Ian J. Stearns and Leslie Wright of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated April 14, 2022

Financial Fraud