NOTE: This story has been updated. An earlier version of this story misidentified new allegations made in court documents as charges. David Sidoo is not facing any new charges. We apologize for our error.
Vancouver-based stock promoter David Sidoo, who is facing charges related to the U.S. College Admissions case involving bribery, money laundering and fraud, helped falsify his son’s university applications with an essay that initially included his son being held up at gunpoint by gangsters, new court filings unsealed Wednesday allege.
In October 2013, Sidoo had William ‘Rick’ Singer, the bribery scheme’s mastermind, “draft a falsified essay describing Sidoo’s younger son’s purported internship with an organization that worked to combat violence among L.A.-based gangs,” according to an indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sidoo has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. None of the allegations have been proven in court and there are no allegations that Sidoo’s sons were involved in any wrongdoing.
Sidoo’s lawyer David Chesnoff told media Thursday Sidoo intends to defend all allegations. “The information released today are mere allegations from the mouths of admitted felons. Mr. Sidoo has a very robust defence that disputes these allegations,” stated Chesnoff.
The essay was to be submitted in Jordan Sidoo’s college applications. The indictment alleges Sidoo wrote back to Singer via email “with minor changes,” including asking for the gun incident to possibly be withdrawn.
“Can we lessen the interaction with the gangs. Guns …? That’s scary stuff. Your call, you know what they look for,” Sidoo wrote to Singer, who eventually submitted the essay to multiple institutions without reference to the guns.
Sidoo is alleged to have paid Singer $200,000 total to have exam expert Mark Riddell take SAT tests for his sons Jordan and Dylan.
He allegedly created false IDs for Riddell, bearing the names of his sons, who attended the prestigious St. George’s School. Dylan graduated in cinematic arts in 2016 from the University of Southern California. Jordan is a 2018 history graduate from University of California Berkley.
There are new charges against 11 other parents for conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children’s admission. “In exchange for the bribes, employees of the university allegedly designated the defendants’ children as athletic recruits – with little or no regard for their athletic abilities – or as members of other favored admissions categories,” wrote the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts in a press release, which adds:
“The defendants, all of whom were arrested in March 2019, were previously charged with conspiring with William ‘Rick’ Singer and others, to bribe SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow a test taker to secretly take college entrance exams in place of their children, or to correct the children’s answers after they had taken the exams. The defendants were also previously charged with conspiring to launder the bribes and other payments in furtherance of the fraud by funnelling them through Singer’s purported charity and his for-profit corporation, as well as by transferring money into the United States, from outside the United States, for the purpose of promoting the fraud scheme.”