Photo: Nathan Klima / Boston Globe Via Getty Images
Image 1 1
Closing a week full of wealthy parents pleading guilty to cheating on tests and bribing college officials as part of the “Varsity Blues” admissions scandal, Marjorie Klapper, a 50-year-old Menlo Park jewelry entrepreneur, acknowledged Friday her role in paying $15,000 to improve her son’s entrance exam.
Klapper pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in a Boston federal courthouse. She could face up to 20 years in prison, but federal prosecutors have indicated in court documents they will seek a much shorter prison sentence for the South Bay mother as part of her plea deal.
More than a dozen parents, including many from the Bay Area, pleaded guilty to the same charge this week. On Friday, Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills and Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach (Orange County) pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors allege the parents paid large sums of money to bribe test proctors, college coaches and university officials to help get their children admitted to prestigious schools. Ringleader William “Rick” Singer, who purported to be in the legitimate college-prep business, earlier pleaded guilty to multiple charges.
Authorities said Klapper paid $15,000 in November 2017 to have someone cheat on behalf of her son on his college entrance exam.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Klapper also took the advice of Singer to falsely claim her son was black and Hispanic on his application. Her son was one of many white children misrepresented as minority students in an attempt to gain advantage in the admissions process, the paper reported.
Klapper’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment. She is expected to be sentenced in October.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/College-admissions-scam-Menlo-Park-mom-pleads-13895360.php.