By Nate Raymond
BOSTON (Reuters) – A former men’s soccer coach at the University of California, Los Angeles has agreed to plead guilty and admit that he accepted $200,000 in bribes to facilitate the admission of two students as fake athletic recruits, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Jorge Salcedo, 47, is among several sports coaches at universities, including Yale and Georgetown, who federal prosecutors in Boston have brought charges against related to the U.S. college admissions scandal.
He agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering as part of a deal in which prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines and not appeal a sentence below two years in prison, prosecutors said in a statement and court filings.
The Los Angeles resident also agreed to forfeit $200,000. A hearing at which he would enter his plea has not yet been scheduled.
Salcedo’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Salcedo is among 53 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 2019 to charges he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and helped bribe university sports coaches to present his clients’ children as fake athletic recruits.
The 36 parents charged since March 2019 include “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced in September to 14 days in prison, and “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who is fighting the charges.
Prosecutors said that in 2016, Salcedo worked with Singer to help the daughter of a California couple, Davina and Bruce Isackson, gain admission to UCLA as a purported soccer recruit in exchange for $100,000 of the $250,000 they paid Singer.
He later in 2018 agreed to “recruit” the son of another of Singer’s clients, Xiaoning Sui, to the UCLA men’s soccer team, even though he did not play the sport competitively, in exchange for $100,000, prosecutors said.
The Isacksons and Sui have previously pleaded guilty. They have yet to be sentenced.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Jonathan Oatis)