Our firm has represented people charged with federal crimes for over 20 years. We often defend people facing allegations of fraud, bribery, money laundering and other “white collar” crimes.
As a recognized expert in this area of law, Attorney Page Pate is often contacted by the media to explain how the federal criminal defense system works, and to offer his opinion in high-profile criminal cases.
In this article, Page was interviewed by Newsweek about how the federal sentencing guidelines would work in the highly-publicized college admissions cheating scandal. Among other things, Page told Newsweek that “Federal sentencing guidelines for fraud are primarily based on the amount of money involved, how sophisticated the fraud was, what role the person played in the alleged scheme, and whether they were the ‘leader, middle, [or] low-end.”
The case has received much attention form the media. It involves several well-known universities – Georgetown University, UCLA, University of Texas, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest, University of Southern California and the University of San Diego. The schools are not involved in the alleged $25 million scheme, but some of the coaches at the schools are named in the indictment for accepting money.
Some of the defendants are celebrities. Actress Lori Loughlin and husband, Mossimo Giannulli, a fashion designer, are charged in this case. The couple is accused of agreeing to pay $500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits of the crew team, even though they never participated in crew. Loughlin is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Honest Services Fraud. She was recently arrested and released on a $1 million bond.
Another actress, Felicity Huffman, has also been charged in this case. She is accused of paying $15,000 as a “charitable contribution” for a test proctor to make sure her daughter got better scores on a college entrance exam.
While several of the parents and others charged in this case have agreed to enter guilty pleas, the case remains pending in federal court.