Nov. 1 (UPI) — A federal judge in Massachusetts sentenced a California businessman to two months in prison for paying to have his son admitted to a university as a fake athletic recruit.
U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock also ordered Jeffrey Bizzack, 59, to serve three years of supervised release and to perform 300 hours of community service per year during that time. Woodlock also imposed a fine of $250,000 on Bizzack during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
In July, Bizzack, the co-founder of clothing retailer Outerknown, 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 William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind a bribery scheme investigators dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.
Authorities said Bizzack reached an agreement with Singer to have his son admitted to the University of Southern California as a volleyball recruit, although he did not play the sport.
Former USC assistant women’s soccer coach Laura Janke has also pleaded guilty to creating a false athletic profile for Bizzack’s son that portrayed him as a nationally ranked volleyball player.
Bizzack said his son was not aware of the bribery.
Prosecutors praised Blizzack for coming forward and contacting investigators after authorities announced charges against 50 parents, coaches and others involved in the scandal.
Ahead of his sentencing, Blizzack told the court the experience has been a “huge wake-up call.”
“It’s a turning point in my life,” he said. “I will continue after this sentencing to pivot my life. I want it for my son, my wife, my community and my employees. I apologize and thank you for your time today.”
Blizzack is the 12th parent to be sentenced in relation to the scandal.