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Press Release

Former University Sailing Coach Sentenced in College Admissions Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant is the first to be sentenced in connection with the nationwide case

BOSTON – The former Stanford University sailing coach was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for his involvement in a scheme to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate the admission of applicants to colleges and universities, including Stanford.

John Vandemoer, 41, of Paolo Alto, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Rya W. Zobel to one day incarceration (deemed served), two years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home detention, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.  The government recommended a sentence of 13 months in prison and one year of supervised release. On March 12, 2019, Vandemoer was charged by Information and pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

“Mr. Vandemoer agreed to accept $610,000 in exchange for corrupting the admissions process of a major university,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “We will continue to seek meaningful penalties in these cases.”

Vandemoer conspired with Rick Singer and others to designate the children of Singer’s clients as a purported recruits for the Stanford sailing team. In exchange, Singer made payments to the Stanford sailing program, which Vandemoer oversaw.

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

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.

Updated June 12, 2019

Financial Fraud