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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 24, 2019

Three Parents in College Admissions Case Plead Guilty

BOSTON – Three parents charged in the college admissions case pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston.

Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif.; Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif.; and Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled the sentencings for Oct. 23, Oct. 18, and Oct. 16, 2019, respectively.

At today’s hearing, Buckingham acknowledged agreeing to pay Rick Singer $50,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the Guidelines sentencing range, one year of supervised release, a fine of $40,000, restitution and forfeiture.

Flaxman acknowledged agreeing to pay Singer $75,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the Guidelines sentencing range, one year of supervised release, a fine of $40,000, restitution and forfeiture.

Klapper acknowledged agreeing to pay Rick Singer $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the Guidelines sentencing range, one year of supervised release, a fine of $20,000, restitution and forfeiture.

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 fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 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.

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 case.

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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated May 24, 2019