Billionaire Chinese family paid $6.5M for daughter's Stanford spot

Chinese family paid $6.5 million to secure daughter's spot at Stanford.

    2019/05/03

NSFW    STANFORD, CALIFORNIA — A billionaire Chinese family is revealed to have paid the biggest known sum in the college admissions scandal — a whopping $6.5 million to get their kid into Stanford.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the family of former Stanford sophomore Yusi Zhao had forked the millions over to Rick Singer, the college consultant at the center of the fraud.

Yusi's father Tao Zhao is chairman of Chinese multibillion dollar pharma company Shandong Buchang. According to Forbes, he's one of the 200 richest men in China.

In a March court hearing, lead prosecutor Eric Rosen said Singer had tried to get the girl into Stanford through its sailing team using falsified sailing achievements.

She didn't end up getting recruited, but was supposedly admitted to the school partly on the basis of those bogus credentials. Singer later donated $500,000 to the sailing program after her admission.

Yusi Zhao is no longer at Stanford. The New York Times reports that the university rescinded her admission in April, in light of the falsified application.

According to The Stanford Daily, none of the Zhaos have been formally charged. It's unclear whether the parents knew that Singer's scheme was illegal, or whether the daughter knew about her parents' involvement with the consultant.

The LA Times reports that a Hong Kong lawyer claiming to represent Mrs. Zhao released a statement on her behalf, which states that Singer merely provided educational advisory services, and did not guarantee admission to any school.

When her daughter was admitted into Stanford, Singer asked her to donate to the school through a foundation he operated. She gave the $6.5 million after being told it would fund scholarships, among other things, and only later realized she'd been duped.
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