The University of Southern California has fired Donna Heinel, its senior associate athletic director, after it was revealed she was part of a wide-spread scam allowing rich parents to get their children into top-tier schools.
Heinel, who is married to a woman according to Autostraddle, was arrested by the FBI according to the Los Angeles Times, along with men’s and women’s water polo coach Jovan Vavic. They each reportedly took bribes of more than $1.3 million and $250,000, respectively, through a scheme run by Edge College & Career Network, a college admissions company in Newport Beach, Calif., run by a man named William Singer.
Over the last eight years, parents allegedly paid the company upwards of $25 million to help their children cheat to get into Ivy League schools and other top colleges, or to falsify school records, and in some cases, bribing admission officers and athletic coaches to place underperforming students into the schools.
In a statement to the LA Times, USC says it is “conducting an internal investigation,” and is currently “identifying any funds received by the university in connection with this alleged scheme. Additionally, the university is reviewing its admissions processes broadly to ensure that such actions do not occur going forward.”
According to the New York Times, 33 parents have been named in the scheme, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
College coaches and athletic directors from Yale, University of Texas, Stanford, and Georgetown were implicated in the case, according to the Times, after allegedly receiving millions of dollars, collectively.
Singer has pleaded guilty for the scheme and was released on $500,000 bond Tuesday. Parents are also facing charges, with sentences based on how much they paid Singer.