As expected, Steven Masera, the former accountant of the bogus nonprofit and college consulting company led by Rick Singer, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering today in Boston federal court for his role in the nation’s largest college admissions bribery scandal, USA Today reported.
Masera, 69, is scheduled to find out how much prison time he’ll get on Oct. 22.
Massera confessed to sending invoices and receipts to parents, as well as checks totaling $21 million to college coaches, on Singer’s behalf between 2011 and 2017.
According to USA Today, Masera told U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani: “At the request of Rick Singer, yes ma’am, I sent every one of those checks.”
Masera struck a deal with federal prosecutors on May 31 by agreeing to plead guilty and cooperate with the government by giving them all documents, objects, and other evidence in his possession. And I’m sure he hopes to get a lighter prison sentence by giving the feds what they wanted.
Prosecutors said Masera, who worked as the accountant and financial officer for Singer’s Key Worldwide Foundation and his Edge College and Career Network LLC, oversaw the transactions on Singer’s behalf, sending notices to parents for their supposed “donation” or “pledge” to the Key Worldwide Foundation or checks to coaches for their participation, according to USA Today.
Recorded phone calls, emails, and other documents show that Masera conspired with Singer and laundered approximately $21 million from Singer’s clients to coaches and administrators. Masera left Singer’s company and nonprofit in 2017.
Masera faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000; however, the Justice Department has recommended a sentence of about five years because of his guilty plea.
In addition, prosecutors have recommended that he receive one year of supervised release, as well as pay an undetermined amount of restitution.
Singer pleaded guilty to four felony charges when the Justice Department announced the scandal in March. He’s been cooperating with prosecutors throughout a majority of the investigation, which began last year.