Judge calls USC dad a 'thief,' gives longest prison sentence so far in college admissions scandal

  
Via:  sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom  •  4 weeks ago  •  37 comments

By:   Joey Garrison, USA TODAY

Judge calls USC dad a 'thief,' gives longest prison sentence so far in college admissions scandal
I am truly sorry. I love that school and it is heartbreaking to me that I brought a shadow on it...

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


BOSTON — Toby MacFarlane, a former real estate and title insurance executive from California, was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday for paying $450,000 to get his daughter and son admitted into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

It marks the longest prison sentence so far handed down among 13 parents and one college coach in the nation's college admissions scandal.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton stressed that MacFarlane participated in the nationwide admissions scheme led by college consultant Rick Singer "not once, but twice," taking seats at USC away from two deserving students.

He told MacFarlane his actions should be tolerated no more than a common thief's actions, "because that's what you are — a thief."

“Higher education in this country aspires to be a meritocracy. Those who work the hardest or make the best grades rightfully get accepted into the best schools," Gorton said. "You had the audacity and the self-aggrandizing impudence to use your wealth to cheat and lie your way around the rules that apply to everyone else."

Gorton also sentenced MacFarlane to two years of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine.

MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, California, must report to prison by Jan. 2. He did not comment to reporters outside the courthouse as he exited before quickly stepping into a nearby Starbucks. MacFarlane pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges in June. 

Addressing the court, MacFarlane, himself a USC graduate, apologized to his family, friends, former business partners and his alma mater, as well as "all of the students who applied and didn't get in."

“I am truly sorry. I love that school and it is heartbreaking to me that I brought a shadow on it," he said, adding he set a "terrible example" for his children. "They didn’t deserve this. I’m working to make it up to them and regain their respect.”

Gorton opted to impose a harsher sentence than called for in sentencing guidelines, citing the “fraudulent, deceitful" nature of MacFarlane's conduct. The judge's decision could be a preview of how he will approach other parents who go before him — including actress Lori Loughlin — who have pleaded not guilty.  

More USC news: California insurance exec pleads guilty to paying $450,000 for kids' admission as fake recruits

MacFarlane, a former senior executive at WFG National Title Insurance Company, made two separate payments of $200,000, one in 2014 and on in 2017, to the sham nonprofit operated by Singer. Singer, in turn, facilitated his children's admissions into USC through bribes to one current and two former USC employees. MacFarlane also made a $50,000 payment to USC athletics.

The first transaction involved the admission of MacFarlane's daughter into USC as a fake soccer recruit. He then paid Singer again to admit his son into USC posing as a basketball recruit. 

"The defendant knew what he was doing was wrong. He knew it wasn't accepted at the school," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen told the judge. "So what does he do? He does it again with his son.”

Rosen said MacFarlane deserved prison because he was the first parent who paid into Singer's "side-door" recruitment scheme twice. He asked the judge to "send a message" as a result.

MacFarlane's defense attorney, Ted Cassman, sought a lighter sentence, arguing his client was less culpable than other parents sentenced in the admissions scheme. Unlike other parents, he said MacFarlane did not seek out Singer for cheating but for his consulting services. 

He said MacFarlane already suffered "swift and severe" collateral consequences from his conduct. He also pointed to MacFarlane's divorce, which separated his family and pressured him to buckle to Singer's offer.

“It was during this period that Mr. Singer offered an easy way out," Cassman said. “And foolishly and tragically, Mr. MacFarlane took the easy way out.”

The toughest prison sentence previously ordered was five months for Agustin Huneeus, a Napa Valley, California winemaker. Huneeus, who agreed to pay Singer $300,000 is the only defendant to take part in both the recruitment scheme and Singer's plot to cheat on college entrance exams. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani handed down the sentence of Huneeus and 11 other parents while Judge Douglas Woodlock sentenced one other parent.

Twenty-nine defendants, including 19 parents, have either pleaded guilty in court or agreed to plead guilty to charges in the historic admissions case.

Igor Dvorsiky, a former administrator for the ACT and SAT, pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to racketeering charges for accepting nearly $200,000 in bribes to opening a private school he operated in Los Angles for cheating in Singer's scheme. He admitted to opening it on 11 occasions, involving 20 students, for cheating.


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Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    4 weeks ago

“I am truly sorry. I love that school and it is heartbreaking to me that I brought a shadow on it," he said, adding he set a "terrible example" for his children. "They didn’t deserve this. I’m working to make it up to them and regain their respect.”

He brought a shadow on the school he loves, and he's working to re-gain his children's respect.  USC received non-tuition monetary perks, and his children had to 'fake' being sports recruits.  Everyone knew what time it was.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1    4 weeks ago
he's working to re-gain his children's respect

I would say the children have some self-respect they need to work on. How they can look themselves in the mirror is a mystery to me.

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     4 weeks ago

Should have been given at least a year...

His kids had to know what was going on. Since neither was an athlete. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Kavika @2    4 weeks ago
Since neither was an athlete.

One had to fake being a soccer recruit, and the other had to fake being a basketball recruit.  It's too bad they couldn't fake the intelligence and the drive to get in the old-fashioned way.

 
 
 
Kathleen
3  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

Not enough time.  I guess these parents have no faith in their own kids to be good or smart enough to get In college on their own.  

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
3.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Kathleen @3    4 weeks ago
I guess these parents have no faith in their own kids to be good or smart enough

Or perhaps they knew their kids weren't good enough or smart enough to get in.

I think the person who is going to receive the harshest sentence, is Lori Loughlin.  She has been downright rude and indignant about her participation.  Also unfortunate is that at least one of her daughters has shown why her parents had to pay $250,000 to get her spoiled behind into a decent school.

https://www.facebook.com/48hours/videos/632163120545733/?t=3

 

 
 
 
Kathleen
3.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3.1    4 weeks ago

Yes.....

I hope they throw the book at her. No remorse at all. I don’t know how she thinks she can win. It’s also sickening that her daughter could care less about getting in when others want to and can’t afford it. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3.1    4 weeks ago

You watch..... Lori Loughlin is going to suffer some sort of feinted mental breakdown to try to gain sympathy from the court, or some sort of reduced sentence.  

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
3.1.3  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.2    4 weeks ago

If Lori wants sympathy, she should look it up in the dictionary.  It is right between shit and syphilis.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.4  Ender  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1.3    4 weeks ago

I use to like her yet her arrogance and thinking she can do whatever she wants showed me her true colours.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
3.1.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Ender @3.1.4    4 weeks ago

One of her kids stated she didn't care for an education, just to be part of the party atmosphere at the university.  With the stunt mom pulled, she torpedoed her own career.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.6  Ender  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1.5    4 weeks ago

I had heard she was dropped from the Hallmark channel, or what ever she was with. I know she was not on the last season of the Netflix show.

Her kids are just as bad as her.

Her husband cracks me up. He looks whipped.

 
 
 
Kathleen
3.1.7  Kathleen  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1.5    4 weeks ago

What’s really bad is now the world knows what a brat she is. Her reputation is ruined, and money does not always fix that.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @3.1.4    4 weeks ago

John Stamos called her "the one that got away".  Wonder if he's counting his blessings?

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.9  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.8    4 weeks ago

I will admit she is gorgeous. Though looks can fade and what is inside counts a lot more.

I bet Stamos is happy he has his now wife and kid.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kathleen @3.1.7    4 weeks ago

You know, I'm not sure the daughter's reputation is ruined, which is sad, really.  Consider Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, etc.  The rich and attractive often get a pass on such behavior.

 
 
 
Kathleen
3.1.11  Kathleen  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.10    4 weeks ago

Well, I do not think much of her and maybe many feel the same. She let us all know that she does not care about being educated, working for a living, spoiled, and on top of it, does not care about cheating. So I would say that is not a good reputation. She thinks she can get whatever she wants without earning it. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.12  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kathleen @3.1.11    4 weeks ago

I don't think much of her, either, which is why I think it's sad that there is a chance that her reputation isn't ruined.  But there are many people who skate by on looks and money.

Even the "catch me outside" girl somehow has a music career, which I think is ridiculous, but there you have it.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
4  Dean Moriarty    4 weeks ago

They could of saved a lot of money if they just bought one of these. 

https://www.instantdegrees.com

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
4.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Dean Moriarty @4    4 weeks ago

I wish I had known about this before spending a butt-load of money and 7 years of my life doing it the right way.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
5  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

What an absolute mess. What do you wanna bet USC isn't the only school where this happens?

How can it really be that important to get into a school? And USC yet! I went to SC, but I don't rule the world or anything because of it.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

Here is another thing.. Okay, they got their kids in, now what?  If their grades were not good enough to get in how can they keep up with their grades now that they are in? College is much harder then high school. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kathleen @6    4 weeks ago

Grades can be bought, too.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1    4 weeks ago

I am are that happens too, the point is, where does it end? When will those kids learn how to accomplish things on their own.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kathleen @6.1.1    4 weeks ago

They aren't necessarily expected to.  They're famous for being famous, like the Kardashians or Hiltons.  Just having rich, famous parents is somehow an accomplishment.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6.1.3  Kathleen  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.2    4 weeks ago

Then we can agree that there is something very wrong with all this then.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kathleen @6.1.3    4 weeks ago

I don't recall saying otherwise.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6.1.5  Kathleen  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.4    4 weeks ago

I did not say that you didn’t.

I can’t wait to see what happens to Loughlin.  

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
6.1.6  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kathleen @6.1.1    4 weeks ago

It's not like they will go get jobs.  They have mom and dad's money to keep them going.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
6.1.7  Raven Wing  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.2    4 weeks ago
They're famous for being famous, like the Kardashians or Hiltons

However, the Kardashians and Hiltons pay for their own traveling expenses, where as Trumps kids travel on the taxpayers teats. Daddums does that for them so they can conduct their private business at no expense of their own. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
6.1.8  Ronin2  replied to  Raven Wing @6.1.7    4 weeks ago
Trumps kids travel on the taxpayers teats. Daddums does that for them so they can conduct their private business at no expense of their own. 

You mean like Biden did for Hunter?

 
 
 
MUVA
7  MUVA    4 weeks ago

I guess he wasn't famous enough to get the sweat hart deal like Felicity. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
7.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  MUVA @7    4 weeks ago
sweat hart deal

Not sure what that is.

 
 
 
MUVA
7.1.1  MUVA  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @7.1    4 weeks ago

Sweetheart Im sorry the other may suit him better.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
7.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @7.1    4 weeks ago

Two weeks in jail and access to a morning cappuccino seems pretty sweet to me.  She didn't even serve the full two weeks.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.3  Ender  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7.1.2    4 weeks ago

To me she felt remorseful and actually seemed to understand and took responsibility for what she had done.

If I was in the industry, I would hire her back in a second.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
7.1.4  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Ender @7.1.3    4 weeks ago

So would I.  She fucked up and admitted it and is the only one to show genuine remorse.

 
 
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