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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 9, 2015

Former Cambridge Resident Convicted of Swindling Money through Prep School Admissions Business

BOSTON – The owner and operator of a prep school admissions business was convicted yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with his role in embezzling funds.

Mark J. Zimny, 43, was convicted by a federal jury on five counts of wire fraud, five counts of unlawful money laundering, two counts of filing false federal tax returns and one count of bank fraud.  The jury acquitted Zimny on an additional count of bank fraud.  U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2015.

Zimny owned and operated a business called IvyAdmit Consulting Associates that claimed to assist students in obtaining admission to elite American prep schools, colleges and universities.  In 2008, Zimny defrauded a couple from Hong Kong of more than $650,000 by promising that if they provided him large funds to give to prep schools in New England for "development contributions," he could influence admissions decisions to the schools on behalf of the couple’s two children.  Rather than delivering the funds to the schools as he promised, however, Zimny embezzled the funds for his own purposes.

Zimny was found guilty of tax violations for underreporting the gross receipts of IvyAdmit for tax years 2008 and 2009 in personal tax returns filed with the IRS.

Furthermore, Zimny defrauded Mt. Washington Bank (now part of East Boston Savings Bank) by providing the bank with false information, including fictitious tax returns that over reported his receipts from IvyAdmit, to support his application for a mortgage loan.

The charges of wire fraud provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count; the charges of money laundering provide for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, two years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count; the charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine; the charges of filing false tax returns provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit and Giselle J. Joffre of Ortiz’s Civil Division.

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Updated April 9, 2015