Parenting book author gets prison for U.S. college admissions scam

By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - A marketing executive who authored a parenting advice book was sentenced on Wednesday to three weeks in prison for taking part in a vast U.S. college admissions cheating and fraud scheme in order to help her son gain an unfair advantage

Reuters October 24, 2019 04:11:09 IST
Parenting book author gets prison for U.S. college admissions scam

Parenting book author gets prison for US college admissions scam

By Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) - A marketing executive who authored a parenting advice book was sentenced on Wednesday to three weeks in prison for taking part in a vast U.S. college admissions cheating and fraud scheme in order to help her son gain an unfair advantage.

Jane Buckingham, 51, received less than the six-month prison term that federal prosecutors in Boston sought after she admitted to paying $50,000 to have a corrupt test proctor secretly take the ACT college entrance exam on her son's behalf.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani rejected a request by defence lawyers to sentence the author of "The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood" to probation after noting other wealthy parents also received prison time for their roles in the scheme.

"It's a serious crime," said Talwani, who also ordered Buckingham to pay a $40,000 fine.

Buckingham is among 52 people charged with participating in a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of their children to top schools.

William "Rick" Singer, the consultant, pleaded guilty in March to charges he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and helped bribe sports coaches at universities to present his clients' children as fake athletic recruits.

The 35 parents charged since March include "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman, who last week began serving a 14-day prison term after pleading guilty, and "Full House" star Lori Loughlin, who is fighting the charges.

Prosecutors said Buckingham, the founder of a successful marking firm in California, in 2018 paid Singer $50,000 to have an associate take the ACT entrance exam in place of her son in order to inflate the score.

The associate was Mark Riddell, a counsellor at a Florida private school who has pleaded guilty to taking SAT and ACT college entrance exams in place of Singer's clients’ children or correcting their answers while acting as a test proctor.

In court, Buckingham apologised for her conduct, saying "nothing will ever make up for what I've done."

"I really want to apologise to the families and children who didn't have the advantages we did," she said. "It was wrong, and it was unfair."

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Chris Reese)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.