College bribery scheme tipster sentenced for financial fraud

Posted at 7:09 AM, August 13, 2020 and last updated 6:34 PM, June 8, 2023

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles financier who tipped authorities to the college admissions cheating scheme was sentenced to prison Wednesday for trying to cheat stock investors out of $15 million.

Morrie Tobin, 57, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison by a federal judge in Boston who acknowledged his “extraordinary” cooperation with federal authorities in both the college bribery case and his own fraud case, the Los Angeles Times reported.

However, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton said he couldn’t allow a felon to avoid prison.

“Your motive was pure and simple greed,” Gorton told him.

Tobin acknowledged that he sold stock to investors at inflated prices. The scheme could have sent him to prison for eight years, although prosecutors asked that he receive probation.

Before sentencing, Tobin told the judge he was “extremely, sincerely sorry and ashamed” of his crimes and said he had since tried “to do everything possible to make amends.”

Tobin met with federal authorities in Boston in 2018 and told them that Rudy Meredith, the head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, wanted a bribe to grant his daughter an athletic waiver for admission.

During a recorded meeting in a hotel room, Meredith asked for $450,000, prosecutors said.

That meeting sparked an investigation that led to William “Rick” Singer, a college admissions consultant in Newport Beach, California. Authorities say he worked with wealthy parents and athletic coaches to have children admitted to elite universities across the country by having someone cheat on their exams or provide them with fake athletic credentials.

Singer pleaded guilty to federal charges and began cooperating in the investigation by secretly recording his phone calls with parents to build the case against them.

More than 50 people have been charged. Nearly 30 prominent parents have pleaded guilty in the case, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman. She was sentenced to two weeks in prison for paying $15,000 to have someone cheat on her daughter’s entrance exam.

Others include “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who admitted to paying a half-million dollars to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fake rowing crew recruits.