Former SAT/ACT test administrator pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Igor Dvorskiy accepted nearly $200,000 in bribes to allow cheating on SAT and ACT exams, prosecutors said.
Image: Igor Dvorskiy
Igor Dvorskiy outside the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse in Boston on March 25, 2019.Nathan Klima / Boston Globe via Getty Images

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By Minyvonne Burke

A college exam proctor accused of accepting bribes to allow cheating on SAT and ACT tests in a multimillion-dollar college admissions scandal has pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge.

Igor Dvorskiy, a former test administrator, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Boston on Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, the state's U.S. Attorney's Office tweeted.

Dvorskiy, 53, was allegedly paid $10,000 per student to allow cheating on college entrance exams taken at a Los Angeles school, either by letting Harvard alumnus Mark Riddell, 36, take the SAT or ACT himself or by replacing students' answer sheets with ones provided by Riddell.

Prosecutors said Dvorskiy accepted nearly $200,000 in bribes for 20 students.

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Dvorskiy's bribes were allegedly paid by William Rick Singer — the mastermind behind the college admissions scandal that has included charges against celebrities such as actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

He faced 20 years in prison if found guilty at a trial, according to NBC Boston, but prosecutors will ask a federal judge to give Dvorskiy only two years.

Another test administrator, Houston based Lisa "Niki " Williams, was indicted in October on charges including conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Riddell pleaded guilty in April to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering. He has not yet been sentenced.

In a statement in March, Riddell said he was "profoundly sorry" for his role in the scandal. The investigation into the conspiracy was dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

"I want to communicate to everyone that I am profoundly sorry for the damage I have done and grief I have caused those as a result of my needless actions," he said in a statement released by his attorney.

Singer, who became a cooperating witness for the FBI to expose his own scam, was charged with racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to a criminal complaint. He pleaded guilty in March while accepting responsibility for the scam.

“I put everything in place. I put all the people in place and made the payments directly," he told a Boston federal judge.

Dvorskiy is one of 14 people ensnared in the massive scandal who have been charged with racketeering. Dozens of others were also charged with various crimes, including Loughlin and Huffman, who served less than two weeks in prison for her role.

Reuters contributed.