Former private school director pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

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LOS ANGELES — The former head of a West Hollywood private school where some parents had their children’s college entrance-exam scores fixed pleaded guilty Wednesday in Boston in the college admissions case.

Igor Dvorskiy, director of the West Hollywood College Preparatory School, pleaded guilty to a single federal count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

The 53-year-old Sherman Oaks resident agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation and to testify in court if called. He also agreed to forfeit $150,000.

Dvorskiy admitted accepting bribes to help parents rig their children’s scores on SAT and ACT exams. Authorities say he received $10,000 per student while administering tests at the private elementary and high school.

If prosecutors determine Dvorskiy’s cooperation has been useful, the government will recommend a low-end sentence of a year on supervised release and a fine when he is sentenced on Feb. 7, according to the terms of his plea agreement.

In exchange for bribe payments directed to him by co-conspirator William “Rick” Singer, and in violation of his duty of honest services to the ACT and the College Board, Dvorskiy allowed another co-conspirator, typically Mark Riddell, to oversee the ACT and SAT exams for the children of Singer’s clients, and to replace exam answers with corrected answers, federal prosecutors said. Dvorskiy then returned the falsified exams to the ACT and College Board for scoring.

Singer and Riddell previously pleaded guilty and are also cooperating with the government’s investigation.

Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the 52-defendant nationwide bribery scandal, in which wealthy parents paid Newport Beach businessman Singer thousands of dollars to have their children’s entrance-exam scores doctored. In other cases, students were falsely admitted to elite universities as athletic recruits, even though they never had any experience in the sports for which they were being recruited.

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman was released on Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for her part in the scam.

Huffman, 56, was sentenced to the prison time in September. She was also ordered to spend a year on supervised release, pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. The “Desperate Housewives” actress was the first parent to be sentenced in connection with the wide-ranging college-admissions cheating scandal, a probe dubbed “Varsity Blues.”

“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy, bribery and money-laundering charges in the scandal.

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