David Sidoo, of Vancouver leaves following his federal court hearing Friday, March 15, 2019, in Boston. Sidoo pleaded not guilty to charges as part of a wide-ranging college admissions bribery scandal. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via AP)

Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Meanwhile, David Sidoo of Vancouver has pleaded not guilty and denies all claims

A man accused of taking dozens of college entrance exams for students in exchange for cash from wealthy parents, including Vancouver businessman David Sidoo, has pleaded guilty.

Former Florida prep school administrator Mark Riddell, 36, pleaded guilty Friday to fraud and money-laundering conspiracy charges in front of a federal court judge in Boston.

Riddell secretly took college entrance exams in place of students, or corrected the students’ answers after they had taken the exam, U.S. prosecutors said.

He is expected to be sentenced on July 18, while co-conspirator William “Rick” Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 19.

READ MORE: B.C. businessman David Sidoo pleads not guilty in U.S. college bribery case

READ MORE: Vancouver businessman accused in U.S. college bribe scam takes leave as CEO

The college admissions scandal has rocked the nation since celebrities including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged. Huffman has since agreed to plead guilty.

Sidoo, 59, is on leave from his leadership roles at East West Petroleum and Advantage Lithium as he faces a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as a newly laid charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He has denied all allegations and pleaded not guilty to some of the charges already.

The former Canadian Football League player is accused of paying $200,000 for someone, allegedly Riddell, to take the SAT for both his sons, as well as a high school graduation exam for his oldest son. The boys later attended Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and University of California, Berkeley.

– With files from The Canadian Press


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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