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HomeBusinessExclusive: Credibility of college admissions scheme ringleader Rick Singer is a key issue, says David Sidoo’s lawyer

Exclusive: Credibility of college admissions scheme ringleader Rick Singer is a key issue, says David Sidoo’s lawyer


Bob Mackin

Lawyers for 19 of the defendants in the college admissions scandal, including Vancouver’s David Sidoo, continue to sift through millions of pages of material as a judge in a Boston federal court on June 2 scheduled another status conference in four months.

David Sidoo

Sidoo has pleaded not guilty to charges of mail and wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. He was not required to attend the June 2 hearing. Of the 50 people charged in the scheme, 22 have either pleaded guilty in court or agreed to plead guilty. 

Sidoo’s name appears at the top of an April indictment.  Prosecutors in Boston accuse Sidoo of paying $200,000 for an impostor to write entrance exams in 2011 and 2012 for sons Dylan and Jordan, the St. George’s students who were admitted to Chapman University and University of California Berkeley, respectively. 

Prosecutors supplied copies of evidence to Sidoo and his legal team in late April. There is so much, that it came on a hard drive and DVD. Sidoo’s Las Vegas lawyer David Chesnoff said the disclosure is being examined in a “very thorough manner.”

“It is the intention of Mr. Sidoo and his lawyers to examine all the discovery in order to study and present facts about the credibility of Mr. Singer,” Chesnoff told

David Chesnoff (Chabad of Southern Nevada)

He was referring to Rick Singer, the California consultant who pleaded guilty in March to running what he admitted was a “side door “ scheme that helped rich parents gain access for their sons and daughters to top-notch universities. Singer’s methods involved faking athletic credentials and cheating on entrance exams. Payments were arranged through a charitable foundation that Singer ran.

Sidoo’s Boston lawyer Martin Weinberg was quoted in an NBC story on June 2 as denying allegations that parents paid bribes. “Many of the clients would contend that if payments were made to a charity or sports organization, that is not a bribe,” Weinberg said.

Based on the evidence reviewed over the last month, has Sidoo’s defence team decided its route?

“It’s definitely too early, it’s hard to make a map without being able to study the materials, which is what we’re doing,” Chesnoff said.

Chesnoff declined comment when pressed about the quality of evidence disclosed by investigators.

“I try to do my talking in court,” he said.

Former University of B.C. football star and board member Sidoo, who made a fortune in oil and gas stocks, could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

Test taker Mark Riddell and Singer’s corporate accountant, Steven Masera. have pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors in exchange for lesser sentences.

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