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Rudy Meredith, ex-Yale coach, expected to plead guilty in college scam

A former soccer coach at Yale University was expected to plead guilty Thursday in Boston to fraud-related charges after authorities say he solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from rich parents seeking to gain admission for their children into the prestigious school.

Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges related to the wide-ranging scheme, according to court documents released this week.

Federal prosecutors say that in November 2017 Meredith accepted a fabricated “athletic profile” from Rick Singer, the alleged ringleader of the scheme, that falsified the applicant’s soccer credentials. It included falsely describing her as a co-captain of a prominent soccer club in Southern California.

Meredith allegedly used that profile to classify her as a women’s soccer player. Singer sent Meredith a check of $400,000 around Jan. 1, 2018, according to indictment. 

In all, prosecutors say, the father and other relatives of the student paid Singer $1.2 million, including $900,000 into a charitable account Singer set up through his college counseling organization called The Key. 

Yale response: Yale rescinds admission of student linked to bribe

The FBI later secretly recorded Meredith in a Boston hotel room where he allegedly agreed to designate a different young woman, identified in court documents as “Applicant 2,” as a Yale soccer player in exchange for $450,000. Prosecutors say he accepted an initial payment of $2,000 in cash at the hotel and later received $4,000 through a wire transfer into a Connecticut bank account.

The financial arrangement was part of an FBI sting operation after a financial executive wanting leniency in a securities case tipped federal authorities that Meredith sought a bribe to get his daughter into Yale. Meredith later cooperated with the FBI, making him the key domino in the case.

Yale President Peter Salovey, in a letter Tuesday to Yale supporters, provided an update of the school’s internal reviews, prompted by allegations against Meredith, over the application process for athletes. He said Yale has confirmed the pre-admission athletic credentials dating to 2015 of all members of the school’s athletic teams who received an athletic endorsement during the admission process.

“Furthermore, with the exception of the single student who was fraudulently admitted, we have determined that all enrolled Yale students who were admitted with an athletic endorsement played at least one season on their varsity sports team,” he said. 

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Yale said on Monday that it has rescinded the admission of a student linked to the bribery scandal. The school has said it believes Meredith gave “fraudulent athletic endorsements” for only two applicants. The other was denied admission despite Meredith’s endorsement, the school said.

College admissions cheating: 12 defendants in scandal plead not guilty in Boston court

Singer has pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy.

Several others have pleaded not guilty, including tennis coach Gordon Ernst who’s accused of getting $2.7 million in bribes to designate at least 12 applicants as recruits to Georgetown and was the personal tennis coach for former first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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