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Hillsborough couple Bruce and Davina Isackson sentenced in college admissions scam

Parents paid $600K to facilitate their daughter's college admissions

A couple who pleaded guilty to charges for securing their daughters' admission to college by paying to cheat on entrance exams and creating false athlete profiles in a national scandal was sentenced in Boston federal court on Tuesday.

On June 28, 2022, Hillsborough residents Bruce and Davina Isackson were each sentenced to a year of probation for paying $600,000 in a nationwide college admissions scandal. Courtesy Getty Images.

Bruce Isackson, 65,and Davina Isackson, 58, of Hillsborough were each sentenced to time served in federal prison (approximately one day), one year of probation and 250 hours of community service. Bruce Isackson also was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine, and Davina Isackson was ordered to pay $1,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

The Isacksons are the last of a group of Bay Area parents and coaches to be sentenced in the scandal, which encompassed 50 people, including coaches, other parents and test administrators nationwide.

The Isacksons pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May 2019. Bruce Isackson also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. The Isacksons' sentencing was postponed while they continued to cooperate with the government's investigation.

The Isacksons conspired with college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, the admitted ringleader behind the nationwide admissions scandal, and others, including university athletic coaches and SAT administrators, in September 2015 to secure their daughters' admission to elite colleges and universities. They paid Singer $600,000 to facilitate cheating on their younger daughter's college entrance exam and obtaining an inflated test score.

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Singer also helped facilitate both daughters' college admissions as purported athletic recruits. He created a false profile of a recruited soccer player for their older daughter, which was submitted to Laura Janke, a former University of Southern California assistant coach, according to court documents. Five months later, she moved the application to the regular admissions process due to a "clerical error."

Former USC women's head soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin sent the application to the head women's soccer coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. The girl received provisional admission for fall 2016.

The couple also worked with Singer in 2017 to create a false ACT score and fake rowing recruit profile for their younger daughter's application to USC. She received conditional admission that October but was told to keep the news under wraps until March 2018, according to court documents.

They also planned with Singer to fake their third child's college entrance exam scores but a court-ordered wiretap intercepted a phone call.

Other residents who were sentenced to punishments ranging from fines with no jail time to a few months in prison with hefty fines include include former Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer; Menlo Park residents Marjorie Klapper and Peter Jan Sartorio; Atherton residents Manuel Henriquez and Elizabeth Henriquez; Hillsborough resident Marci Palatella; former TPG Capital senior executive William McGlashan Jr., previously of Palo Alto; Napa vintner Agustin Huneeus Jr.; and Dr. Gregory and Amy Colburn of Palo Alto.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Hillsborough couple Bruce and Davina Isackson sentenced in college admissions scam

Parents paid $600K to facilitate their daughter's college admissions

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 29, 2022, 9:55 am

A couple who pleaded guilty to charges for securing their daughters' admission to college by paying to cheat on entrance exams and creating false athlete profiles in a national scandal was sentenced in Boston federal court on Tuesday.

Bruce Isackson, 65,and Davina Isackson, 58, of Hillsborough were each sentenced to time served in federal prison (approximately one day), one year of probation and 250 hours of community service. Bruce Isackson also was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine, and Davina Isackson was ordered to pay $1,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

The Isacksons are the last of a group of Bay Area parents and coaches to be sentenced in the scandal, which encompassed 50 people, including coaches, other parents and test administrators nationwide.

The Isacksons pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May 2019. Bruce Isackson also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. The Isacksons' sentencing was postponed while they continued to cooperate with the government's investigation.

The Isacksons conspired with college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, the admitted ringleader behind the nationwide admissions scandal, and others, including university athletic coaches and SAT administrators, in September 2015 to secure their daughters' admission to elite colleges and universities. They paid Singer $600,000 to facilitate cheating on their younger daughter's college entrance exam and obtaining an inflated test score.

Singer also helped facilitate both daughters' college admissions as purported athletic recruits. He created a false profile of a recruited soccer player for their older daughter, which was submitted to Laura Janke, a former University of Southern California assistant coach, according to court documents. Five months later, she moved the application to the regular admissions process due to a "clerical error."

Former USC women's head soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin sent the application to the head women's soccer coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. The girl received provisional admission for fall 2016.

The couple also worked with Singer in 2017 to create a false ACT score and fake rowing recruit profile for their younger daughter's application to USC. She received conditional admission that October but was told to keep the news under wraps until March 2018, according to court documents.

They also planned with Singer to fake their third child's college entrance exam scores but a court-ordered wiretap intercepted a phone call.

Other residents who were sentenced to punishments ranging from fines with no jail time to a few months in prison with hefty fines include include former Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer; Menlo Park residents Marjorie Klapper and Peter Jan Sartorio; Atherton residents Manuel Henriquez and Elizabeth Henriquez; Hillsborough resident Marci Palatella; former TPG Capital senior executive William McGlashan Jr., previously of Palo Alto; Napa vintner Agustin Huneeus Jr.; and Dr. Gregory and Amy Colburn of Palo Alto.

Comments

dontliveinCA
Registered user
another community
on Jun 29, 2022 at 10:39 am
dontliveinCA, another community
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2022 at 10:39 am

They deserved more jail time.


Mike Bechler
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 29, 2022 at 10:42 am
Mike Bechler, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2022 at 10:42 am

One day plus $7500 / $1000 to someone who can afford to pay 600k to get their kids into college is nothing. What a joke.


Anonymous
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jun 29, 2022 at 11:38 am
Anonymous, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2022 at 11:38 am

It never ceases to amaze me that USC is considered "bribe-worthy" by some people.


Sandra
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 29, 2022 at 12:53 pm
Sandra, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Unfortunately, I expected this light sentence, but am disappointed. People like Davina and Bruce life in a different world from the rest of society. The irony of bribing for college and skating thru this court debacle! I hope they are truly remorseful for the right reasons


Grew Up Here
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2022 at 8:35 pm
Grew Up Here, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2022 at 8:35 pm

What?! ONE DAY?! They faked that their two daughters were athletic recruits plus cheated on the SATs. Who did they pay off?

The laws need to be changed to hit these wealthy people in the pockets more. $5 million fine perhaps?

Felicity Huffman (actress) served 10 days in prison (sentenced to 14) for paying $15,000 to have a proctor correct SAT questions answered incorrectly by her daughter and a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and one year supervised release. Of course, it was the low-key "prison" in Dublin, where it's like being at camp with activities and sunbathing, but she didn't fake that her daughter was an athletic recruit, yet her punishment was much more than the Isacksons'.


HHTurner
Registered user
Ventura
on Jul 12, 2022 at 10:17 am
HHTurner, Ventura
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2022 at 10:17 am

One day? Did they give someone else $600k?


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2022 at 10:42 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2022 at 10:42 am

I’m guessing they had better lawyers than the other defendants.


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