David Sidoo’s fraud trial could begin next January.
Lawyers for Vancouverite Sidoo and 14 others accused in the college admissions scandal were in Judge Nathaniel Gorton’s courtroom in Boston on Feb. 27 for a case status conference. Sidoo would be part of the second group of defendants to be heard. The first group, which includes Hollywood star Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, would go on trial Oct. 5.
Defendants have an April 1 deadline to sever or oppose the groupings. Court may hold a hearing on motions in early June.
“The defendants are charged with engaging in a single theme, as part of a single conspiracy to use various forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to college,” according to a filing by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. “To convict them of conspiracy, the government must prove the existence of an illicit agreement among each of the defendants and at least one co-conspirator to engage in the charge scheme.”
Sidoo, a former CFL player who became a wealthy stock market player, tops a list of 19 people named in an April 9, 2019 indictment. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
Sidoo is accused of paying more than $200,000 for Harvard-educated tennis coach Mark Riddell to write college entrance exams for sons Dylan and Jordan Sidoo, neither of whom are charged.
If convicted, David Sidoo could face up to 20 years in prison.
Riddell pleaded guilty last April to fraud and money laundering in the scheme hatched by mastermind Rick Singer, who admitted that he “created a side door that would guarantee families would get in.”
Prosecutors allege Riddell traveled from Tampa, Fla. to Vancouver and used false identification to pose as Dylan Sidoo to write an SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test] test on Dec. 3, 2011 at a venue that has not been disclosed.
Riddell allegedly traveled to Vancouver again, to write a test on June 9, 2012 that is described in the indictment as a “Canadian high school graduation exam.” The venue for the exam remains undisclosed.
Gorton was the same judge that sentenced Michelle Janavs, the heiress to the Hot Pockets empire, to five months in jail for her role in the scandal earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, a Surrey woman who is a Chinese citizen will be sentenced May 19.
Xiaoning Sui, 48, is expected to be sentenced to time already served in a Spanish jail after her plea bargain. She admitted guilt Feb. 21, paid a $250,000 bond to the court, was ordered to provide a DNA sample and restricted to travel within the U.S. and Canada only.
Sui was arrested in Spain last summer after paying a $400,000 bribe to have her tennis-playing son recruited to the University of California Los Angeles soccer team so that he could study there. He had no prior competitive soccer experience, but was falsely billed as a top player on two private teams in Canada.
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