One Chinese family allegedly paid $6.5 million to William “Rick” Singer, the California-based college counselor who has admitted to masterminding the scheme, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Another was the family of a student—referred to in court filings as “Yale Applicant 1”—who paid $1.2 million to secure her admission to Yale University. The student is 21-year-old Sherry Guo, who moved to Southern California from China to attend high school, her lawyer confirmed.
The families have been of particular interest in the case because they allegedly paid far more than nearly all of the 33 parents currently facing criminal charges in the scheme. Many parents paid $250,000 to $400,000 for the illegal admissions services, including securing fraudulent test scores and bribing coaches to have their children designated as recruited athletes, prosecutors say.
Ms. Guo had her eye on Columbia University or Oxford University, said her lawyer, James Spertus of Spertus, Landes & Umhofer LLP in Los Angeles.
But Mr. Singer told her she would go to Yale University. It was a sure thing, he said, according to Mr. Spertus. An attorney for Mr. Singer, who has pleaded guilty to four felony charges, including racketeering conspiracy, declined to comment.