The family of a Chinese student paid the mastermind behind the college admissions scandal $6.5 million to get their daughter into Stanford, NBC News reported Wednesday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, which was the first to report the story, the family met William “Rick” Singer, the consultant at the center of the scandal, through a Morgan Stanley financial advisor, according to people with knowledge about the matter.
Yusi Zhao, also known as Molly, was admitted to Stanford University in the Spring of 2017. Her family lives in Beijing. Zhao and her family have not been charged in the scandal, according to NBC News.
The LA Times also reported that Yusi Zhao's profile on a Stanford student database now appears inactive.
Stanford had previously rescinded the admission of a student who allegedly lied about sailing credentials in her application to the elite school and was then found to be linked to a $500,000 donation made to Stanford’s sailing program.
The university said in an update on its website that the student was accepted to Stanford based on "fabricated sailing credentials" even though she was not recruited through the normal athletic process and never participated on the school's sailing team.
After she was admitted, a $500,000 donation was made to the university's sailing program through former sailing coach John Vandemoer, who was fired last month after pleading guilty to racketeering charges, according to federal court documents. The money came from a foundation run by William Singer, the alleged mastermind of a national college admissions cheating scandal.
Vandemoer is set to serve an 18-month prison sentence.
Nearly one dozen Bay Area parents have already appeared before a federal judge in Boston on charges related to allegedly paying bribes for their children to be considered athletic recruits and allegedly paying to better their test scores through various means.
Among them are Bay Area real estate developer and his wife Bruce and Davina Isackson of Hillsborough, who have agreed to plead guilty to participating in the scam and are cooperating with the investigation for the chance at a lighter sentence.
Federal prosecutors allege the California couple spent some $600,000 to get their daughters into UCLA and USC by transferring more than 2,000 shares of Facebook stock.