July 25 (UPI) — A California man pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying a $250,000 bribe to get his son accepted to the University of Southern California as a fake member of the school’s volleyball team.
Jeffrey Bizzack, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. He said he paid $50,000 to the school and $200,000 to Rick Singer, the mastermind behind a bribery scheme investigators dubbed “Varsity Blues.”
Prosecutors charged more than 50 people in the scandal, including Singer, dozens of wealthy parents and two Hollywood actors — all of whom, they said, bribed exam administrators and school officials to get their children into prestigious universities.
Bizzack, the co-founder of clothing retailer Outerknown, said his son wasn’t aware of the bribery. Bizzack is a former business partner of surfing champion Kelly Slater.
His charges carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence, though prosecutors recommended a nine-month sentence and a $75,000 fine. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30.