California Mother Pleads Guilty to Paying Scammers to Take Son’s Online Classes

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

California mother Karen Littlefair has pled guilty to charges alleging that she paid for someone to take online college classes on behalf of her son so that he could graduate from Georgetown University. Littlefair pleaded guilty on Monday and is the latest parent to be charged amid the infamous “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal that unfolded earlier this year.

Littlefair pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which noted that the charges carry up to twenty years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000, but that prosecutors will recommend a sentencing of four months in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $9,500.

The charging documents state that the mother had agreed to pay William “Rick” Singer‘s company approximately $9,000 to have one of Singer’s employees take online classes for her son. Singer is the alleged mastermind of the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scam uncovered this year.

Singer’s employee had allegedly gone through with the task, completing four classes for Littlefair’s son, who was able to graduate from Georgetown in May 2018 using the fraudulent credits he had earned with the help of the service.

Singer was previously charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud US, and obstruction of justice, of which he pled guilty and agreed cooperate with the government’s investigation.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, Singer faces incarceration at the low end of the Guidelines sentencing range, three years of supervised release, and fine and forfeiture.

“My client has taken the earliest opportunity to take responsibility for her conduct,” said a lawyer for Littlefair, Kenneth Julian, according to Herald Publicist. Julian reportedly declined to provide additional comment.

As for Georgetown University, the school said that it can revoke degrees when it comes to situations involving major misconduct.

“When the university learns of a potential serious violation of the honor system after a student has graduated, the Honor Council will investigate and adjudicate the case and may recommend sanctions up to and including the revocation of the student’s degree,” said Georgetown spokesperson Meghan Dubyak in the statement, according to Bloomberg.

According to Daily Mail, Georgetown has previously rescinded admission to two applicants connected to the college bribery scandal.

The report added that Littlefair later demanded a discount, complaining that her son received a “C” in one of the courses, and that when Singer refused to give a discount, the mother stated that “the experience was a nightmare — a nightmare for all.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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