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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Former University Volleyball Coach Involved in College Admissions Case Enters Into Deferred Prosecution Agreement

BOSTON – The former Wake Forest University women’s volleyball coach has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) relating to his involvement in the college admission scheme.

William Ferguson, 51, of Winston-Salem, N.C., has entered into a DPA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which was accepted by the District Court. If, after a period of two years and payment of a $50,000 fine, Ferguson complies with the DPA, the government will move to dismiss the pending charge.

According to the DPA, Ferguson accepted responsibility for his conduct as outlined in the Statement of Facts filed with the court. According to the Statement of Facts, in or about June 2016, Ferguson was hired to be the head coach of women’s volleyball at Wake Forest. In or about February 2017, Ferguson agreed with William “Rick” Singer to secure admission to Wake Forest for a student by designating the student as a recruit to the women’s volleyball team in exchange for future purported donations that would inure to Ferguson’s personal benefit. The student had previously been placed on the wait list for admission to the university.

On or about March 24, 2017, Ferguson designated the student as a volleyball recruit, but did not disclose to the Wake Forest admissions office that he did so in exchange for future purported donations that would inure to Ferguson’s personal benefit. 

In March 2019, Ferguson was charged and arrested in connection with this case. In September 2020, Ferguson was charged in a second superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud.

Case information, including the status of each defendant, is available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.

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 Leslie A. Wright, Kristen A. Kearney and Kriss Basil of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.

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

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Updated October 12, 2021