A look at the college admissions cheating case 1 year later

BOSTON (AP) — A year after dozens of prominent parents and athletic coaches at top universities were arrested in a college admissions cheating scheme, some are heading to prison while others are gearing up to fight the charges at trial in Boston. More than 50 people have been charged in the case, which has put a spotlight on the cut-throat admissions process and the lengths some wealthy parents will go to get their kids into the nation's most prestigious schools.

Here's a look at where the case stands:

STILL FIGHTING

Eight parents are scheduled to go on trial in October. They include “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as fake crew recruits. The famous couple says they are innocent and their payments were legitimate donations. Another six parents will go on trial in January.

Four coaches are still fighting the allegations. Among them are longtime tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who’s accused of getting $2.7 million in bribes to designate at least 12 applicants as recruits to Georgetown. USC's former senior associate athletic director, Donna Heinel, and water polo coach, Jovan Vavic, are also challenging allegations against them.

GUILTY PLEAS

Twenty one parents have admitted to paying bribes to have someone cheat on their children's entrance exams or pretend their kids were star athletes for sports they didn't play. They include “Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter's SAT exam answers. Huffman served a two-week prison sentence in October.

Another parent, Canadian businessman David Sidoo, will plead guilty on Friday, prosecutors said Wednesday. Sidoo was scheduled to go to trial in January on charges that he paid $200,000 to have someone take the SAT in place of his two sons.

Five coaches have pleaded guilty. Among them is former Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith, who helped investigators unravel the wider bribery scheme by leading them to the admitted mastermind, admissions consultant Rick Singer. Singer has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and several other charges and has not yet been sentenced.

15 PHOTOS
Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli together
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Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli together
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Designer Mossimo Giannulli and actress Lori Loughlin attend LACMA's 50th Anniversary Gala sponsored by Christie's at LACMA on April 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for LACMA)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 03: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli attend 6th Annual Kidstock Music And Arts Festival Sponsored By Hudson Jeans at Greystone Mansion on June 3, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
MALIBU, CA - APRIL 21: Designer Mossimo Giannulli and actress Lori Loughlin attend the Malibu Lumber Yard grand opening held at the Malibu Lumber Yard on April 21, 2009 in Malibu, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Actress Lori Loughlin (L) and husband Mossimo Giannulli attend the Saks Fifth Avenue's Unforgettable Evening cocktail reception benefiting Entertainment Industry Foundation's (EIF) Women's Cancer Research Fund held at the Beverly Wishire Hotel on February 20, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo attend Louis Vuitton Gala Celebrating the Takashi Murakami Exhibition at Geffen Contemporary at Moca on October 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by BRIAN LINDENSMITH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
John Stamos and Lori Loughlin during Target Hosts LA Fashion Week Party for Designer Mossimo Giannulli - Inside at Area in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for LaForce and Stevens)
John Stamos, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli during Target Hosts LA Fashion Week Party for Designer Mossimo Giannulli - Inside at Area in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for LaForce and Stevens)
Mossimo Giannulli and Lori Loughlin during Target Hosts LA Fashion Week Party for Designer Mossimo Giannulli at Area in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for LaForce and Stevens)
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo during Saks Fifth Avenues Unforgettable Evening Benefitting EIFs Womens Cancer Research Fund at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage for Entertainment Industry Foundation)
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo during 30th Anniversary Party for Hello Kitty Presented by SANRIO and Target - Pink Carpet at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage for Sanrio, Inc)
Mossimo Giannulli & Lori Loughlin during Mossimo's New Collection Celebration at Moomba in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. P. Aussenard/WireImage)
Lori Loughlin & Mossimo during Marc Anthony Pilots Jaguar's Tribute To Style - March 18, 2001 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
381656 06: Designer Mossimo Giannulli with actress wife Lori Loughlin, left, and actress Valerie Bertinelli attend a party to launch the famed sportswear designer Mossimo Giannulli Collection November 9, 2000 at The Drive-In Studios in New York City. (Photo by George DeSota/Getty Images)
Mossimo Giannulli & Lori Loughlin during 14th Carousel of Hope Ball for Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Lori Loughlin & Mossimo during An Evening of Song & Spirit A Benefit For Gaian Yoga For Life at Private House in Bel Air, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
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COOPERATORS

Several defendants have been cooperating with authorities and agreed to spill information about others charged in the case in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence.

Singer flipped and started working with investigators since September 2018 and secretly recorded his conversations with parents and coaches. He's expected to be the government's star witness at the trials. Also cooperating is Laura Janke, the former University of Southern California assistant women’s soccer coach who Singer paid to create fake athletic profiles for applicants. Former Florida prep school administrator, Mark Riddell, who admitted to taking the entrance exams in place of the students, or correcting their answers, also cooperated with the government's investigation and could be asked to testify at trials.

PUNISHMENTS

Sentences for parents who've pleaded guilty range from no prison time to nine months behind bars.

Peter Jan Sartorio, who founded a California frozen foods company, was sentenced in October to one year of probation for paying to have his daughter’s ACT answers fixed. Sartorio, who was the first parent to agree to plead guilty, was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine.

The harshest sentence handed down so far went to Douglas Hodge, former CEO of the Pacific Investment Management Co. He admitted to paying bribes totaling $850,000 to get four of his children into the USC and Georgetown as fake athletic recruits.

Two coaches have been sentenced: former Stanford sailing coach, John Vandemoer, and former University of Texas at Austin men's tennis coach, Michael Center.

Vandemoer, who pleaded guilty the same day the charges were announced last March, avoided prison after admitting to agreeing to help students get into Stanford as recruited athletes in exchange for money for his sailing program. Center was sentenced to six months in prison for taking a $100,000 bribe to help an applicant get into the school as a tennis recruit.

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