BOSTON, July 1 (Reuters) – An associate professor of dentistry at the University of Southern California has agreed to plead guilty to a tax offense stemming from his role in a U.S. college admissions scandal, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Federal prosecutors in Boston had previously accused Homayoun Zadeh, 59, of agreeing to pay $100,000 to secure his daughter’s admission to the university through bribery as a fake lacrosse recruit.
He agreed to plead guilty to filing a false tax return after he deducted on his tax return payments he made in 2017 toward the $100,000 to a foundation central to the scheme. Prosecutors said they were not legitimate charitable contributions.
The foundation, Key Worldwide Foundation, was run by the scheme’s mastermind, California college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer, who prosecutors said helped wealthy parents secure their children’s college admissions through fraud and bribery. read more
Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss the other charges against Zadeh, who under a plea agreement faces a potential prison sentence of six weeks, a $20,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. A date for his plea has not been set.
Zadeh’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zadeh is among 57 people to have been charged in the scandal. Singer pleaded guilty in March 2019 to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of students to colleges as fake athletic recruits.
Thirty other wealthy parents have already pleaded guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence, and “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who was sentenced to two months in prison.
Charges remain pending against several other parents, with the first trial in the case set for September. Zadeh had been among the five parents slated to go to trial then.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Grant McCool
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