• Kristofer Sirevaag

LA’s Elite on Edge as Prosecutors Pursue More Parents in Admissions Scandal

LA’s Elite on Edge as Prosecutors Pursue More Parents in Admissions Scandal

随着检察官在招生丑闻中追查到更多的家长,洛杉矶的精英们感到不安

By Jennifer Medina and Kate Taylor

作者Jennifer Medina Kate Taylor

• May 1, 2019

• 2019年5月1日


LOS ANGELES — Federal prosecutors are pursuing a new set of parents in the college admissions fraud scandal, sending ripples of fear through elite circles in Southern California and stirring speculation about which well-heeled executive or celebrity might be the next to be charged.


洛杉矶——联邦检察官正在调查大学入学欺诈丑闻中的新一批家长,这在南加州的精英圈子里造成了恐慌的涟漪,并引发了有关下一个被起诉的可能是哪位富有的高管或名人的猜测。


The prosecutors have informed some of the parents — the exact number is unclear — that they are under investigation in the nation’s largest-ever college admissions inquiry, according to four defense lawyers. During a trip to Los Angeles in April, the lead prosecutor conferred with lawyers for at least two of these parents.


据四名辩护律师称,检察官已通知部分家长(具体数字尚不清楚),他们正在接受美国有史以来规模最大的大学入学调查。在今年4月前往洛杉矶的一次差旅中,首席检察官与其中至少两名家长的律师进行了磋商。


At the same time, defense lawyers say that a larger array of parents is worried about also becoming a target, and is scrambling to hire lawyers and figure out what to do. And, even with these new lines of investigation underway, prosecutors said that they have sent target letters to three students, raising the prospect that the students could face criminal charges and compounding their families’ anxieties.


与此同时,辩护律师说,越来越多的家长担心自己也会成为被攻击的目标,他们争先恐后地聘请律师,想办法解决问题。而且,尽管这些新的调查正在进行中,检察官表示,他们已经向三名学生发送了信件,这增加了学生可能面临刑事指控的可能性,加剧了他们家人的焦虑。


William Singer, the college consultant at the center of the scheme, was based in Newport Beach, and many of his clients were in the Los Angeles area. Some of those clients are now grappling with a secret, nerve-racking waiting game, while fellow parents openly gloat about cheaters getting their due or whisper about which high school senior might have benefited from some shady help.


威廉·辛格是该计划的核心大学顾问,他的公司总部设在纽波特比奇,他的许多客户都在洛杉矶地区。这些客户中,有些人正在努力应对一个 秘密的、令人伤脑筋的等待游戏,而其他家长则公开幸灾乐祸地看着作弊者得到应有的惩罚,或者私下里嘀咕哪些高中生可能从一些不正当的帮助中获益。


“For many of these people, this is the only thing they can think about,” said one defense lawyer in Los Angeles whose firm represents multiple parents who have not been charged, some of whom have been in contact with the government. He declined to be quoted by name, citing concerns about how that might affect his firm’s clients.


“对很多人来说,这是他们唯一能想到的事情,”洛杉矶的一名辩护律师说。他的律师事务所代理多名未被起诉的父母,其中一些人曾与政府有过联系。他拒绝透露姓名,理由是担心这会对他公司的客户产生何种影响。


He said these clients have watched as the 33 parents already charged have been publicly shamed. They worry that they, too, could be exposed for having ties to Mr. Singer, and that, like the parents already charged, they could have been caught on recorded phone calls talking about their children and their prospects for college.


他说,这些客户看到已经被指控的33名家长受到公开羞辱。他们担心,自己也可能因为与辛格有关系而被曝光,而且,就像已经受到指控的父母一样,他们可能电话谈论孩子和他们上大学的前景的时候被录音。


Christina Sterling, spokeswoman for the office of the United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts, which has brought the case, declined to answer specific questions about who will next face charges but said: “I can confirm that the investigation remains active, including potentially charging additional defendants.”


提起此案的马萨诸塞州联邦检察官办公室发言人克里斯蒂娜·斯特林拒绝回答有关谁将面临下一项指控的具体问题,但她表示:“我可以证实,调查仍在进行,包括可能对其他被告提出指控。”


Ever since prosecutors first announced that they were charging 50 people in a brazen scheme involving cheating on college entrance exams and millions of dollars in bribes paid to secure spots at schools like the University of Southern California, Yale and Stanford, they have said that they believed more parents were out there who had taken part in the scam.


自从检察官第一次宣布要对50人进行指控,这场厚颜无耻的计划包括高考作弊,以及为进南加州大学、耶鲁和斯坦福等学校而行贿数百万美元之后,他们就表示,他们相信有更多的家长参与了这场骗局。


From the beginning, the prosecutors have said that one family, so far not charged and, until this week, not named, had paid $6.5 million — more than any other family — in an effort to get their child admitted to college as a recruited athlete. According to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation, the student in that case is Yusi Zhao, who was admitted to Stanford in 2017, and whose parents live in Beijing.


从一开始,检察官就说,有一个家庭,到目前为止没有受到指控,直到本周也没有透露姓名,为了让他们的孩子作为一名应征运动员进入大学,支付了650万美元——比任何其他家庭都多。据一位直接了解调查情况的人士透露,此案中的学生是赵玉思,她于2017年被斯坦福大学录取,父母住在北京。


The lead prosecutor, Eric S. Rosen, an assistant United States attorney, suggested in a court hearing in March that Mr. Singer had tried to get Ms. Zhao recruited onto the Stanford sailing team and had created a falsified profile of her supposed sailing achievements. Although she was not ultimately recruited, Mr. Rosen said that she was admitted to Stanford partly on the basis of those false credentials and that, after her admission, Mr. Singer made a $500,000 donation to the Stanford sailing program.


首席检察官、美国助理检察官埃里克S.罗森在今年3月的一场法庭听证会上表示,辛格曾试图让赵进入斯坦福帆船队,并伪造了一份关于她的所谓航海成就的虚假资料。尽管她最终没有被录取,罗森说,她被斯坦福录取的部分原因是那些虚假的证书,而且在她被录取后,辛格向斯坦福帆船项目捐赠了50万美元。


Stanford rescinded Ms. Zhao’s admission in April, and she is no longer a student there. It is uncertain whether prosecutors are investigating her or her parents. Ms. Zhao’s identity was first reported by The Los Angeles Times.


今年4月,斯坦福大学撤销了赵的入学资格,她也不再是该校的学生。目前尚不清楚检察官是在调查她还是她的父母。《洛杉矶时报》最先报道了赵的身份。


At U.S.C., about two dozen current students have been notified that their admission is being investigated by the student judicial affairs office. In recent weeks, lawyers for the students have been shuttling to campus almost daily to meet with university officials. Once the investigation is complete, officials will determine whether students will face sanctions, which could be as severe as expulsion.


在南加州大学,大约有20多名在读的学生被告知,他们的录取正在接受学生司法办公室的调查。近几周来,学生们的律师们几乎每天都往返于校园,与大学官员会面。一旦调查完成,有关官员将确定学生是否会面临处罚,可能会像开除学生一样严重。


Adding to a sense of confusion and worry for families tied to the case is lingering uncertainty about why some people have been charged and others have not. Two students connected to the scandal have already been removed from their colleges, although neither they nor their parents have been criminally charged. Stanford rescinded Ms. Zhao’s admission, and Yale rescinded the admission of Sherry Guo, a 21-year-old freshman whose parents paid Mr. Singer $1.2 million in connection with her application.


与此案有关的家庭感到困惑和担忧的另一个原因是,为什么一些人被起诉,而另一些人没有被起诉,仍然存在不确定性。两名与丑闻有关的学生已经被他们的大学开除,尽管他们和他们的父母都没有受到刑事指控。斯坦福大学取消了赵的入学资格,耶鲁大学也取消了21岁的大一新生郭雪莉的入学资格,她的父母向辛格支付了120万美元来帮助她申请大学。


At Los Angeles’s exclusive private schools, the case has changed the mood in recent weeks as seniors were receiving college acceptance notifications.


最近几周,随着应届生收到大学录取通知,洛杉矶一些高级私立学校的气氛发生了变化。


Even before the charges were announced, parents at the schools said, people seemed to keep quiet about measures they were taking to increase their children’s chances, from hiring testing preparation tutors to calling on connections at universities. Now many were speculating about which families had hired Mr. Singer and what lengths they had gone to.


这些学校的家长们说,甚至在这些指控宣布之前,人们似乎就对他们为增加孩子录取的机会而采取的措施保持沉默,从聘请备考老师到联系大学里的人脉。现在,许多人都在猜测是哪些家庭雇用了辛格,以及他们为此付出了多大的努力。


The mother of a junior at a school where some families had hired Mr. Singer said the entire episode had left her skeptical about some of the students’ college acceptances. The mother declined to be named, saying she feared harming her school’s reputation.


在一所有些家庭雇佣了辛格的学校中,一名11年级学生的母亲说,整个事件让她对一些学生的大学录取申请产生了怀疑。这位母亲拒绝透露姓名,称她担心会损害学校的声誉。


“If their parents are friends with some of the people who were indicted, you start to wonder, ‘Huh, did they do something?’” she said. “It’s terrible to cast doubt on these children’s real achievements but you wonder, ‘Who cheated?’”


她说,“如果他们的父母和一些被起诉的人是朋友,你会开始想,‘嗯,他们做了什么吗?’ 怀疑这些孩子的真实成就很可怕,但你会好奇,‘谁作弊了?’”

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