Former USC coach pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Gavel. Photo: Pxhere

May 14 (UPI) — A former University of Southern California assistant soccer coach pleaded guilty Tuesday to her role in a college admissions scandal.

Laura Janke, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering with William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind of the scheme, and agreed to cooperate in the government’s investigation into the admissions scandal.

Janke is one of five USC coaches charged in the case, but the first to plead guilty.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani, Janke said she was involved in the scheme from 2012 to 2019, when prosecutors said she crafted fake athletic profiles for applicants — including actress Lori Loughlin’s daughters — to secure spots at the university set aside for recruited athletes.

Prosecutors said Singer sent $300,000 to a private soccer club controlled by Janke and former USC women’s soccer head coach Ali Khosroshahin in exchange for designating the applicants as recruits, despite them not participating in the sport.

In exchange for Janke’s agreement to cooperate in the investigation, federal prosecutors recommended the low-end of sentencing guidelines at 27 months to 33 months in prison. The maximum sentence for the charges is 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors also recommended an unspecified financial penalty and 12 months of supervised leave, forfeiture of $134,213 and an undetermined restitution payment.

Janke is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 17.

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