California couple plead guilty to paying $250,000 to get their daughter into USC in latest Varsity Blues college bribery plea deal

A couple pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribing their daughter´s way into the University of Southern California as part of the college admissions cheating scheme.
Diane Blake and Todd Blake from Ross, California, appeared before a Boston federal court judge via video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic and admitted to participating in the bribery scheme involving wealthy parents and elite universities across the country.
Under their plea deals, Diane Blake has agreed to serve six weeks in prison, while Todd Blake has agreed to serve four months. 
The judge said he will decide whether to accept the deals after considering the pre-sentencing report, a document that contains background on defendants and helps guide sentencing decision.
Emails seeking comment were sent to attorneys for the Blakes.
Diane Blake and Todd Blake are shown in their LinkedIn pictures. The pair have agreed to a plea deal which sees her spend six weeks in prison and him four months
Diane Blake and Todd Blake are shown in their LinkedIn pictures. The pair have agreed to a plea deal which sees her spend six weeks in prison and him four months
Diane Blake and Todd Blake are shown in their LinkedIn pictures. The pair have agreed to a plea deal which sees her spend six weeks in prison and him four months
The couple are pictured at a previous court appearance in Boston
The couple are pictured at a previous court appearance in Boston
The couple are pictured at a previous court appearance in Boston
The couple pleaded guilty to working with the admitted mastermind of the bribery scheme William 'Rick' Singer to have their daughter admitted to USC as a star volleyball player with fake athletic credentials. Prosecutors say they paid $50,000 to USC Women´s Athletics and $200,000 to Singer´s sham charity.
Diane Blake, 55, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. 
Todd Blake, 54, pleaded guilty to the same charge, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

They are the 27th and 28th parents to plead guilty in the case dubbed 'Operation Varsity Blues.' They're scheduled to be sentenced in November.
They were were among dozens of people charged last year in the bribery scheme. The parents paid hefty bribes to get their kids into top universities with bogus test scores or fake athletic credentials, authorities said.
Other parents who have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme include 'Full House' actor Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, who admitted to paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither girl was a rower.
Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli (pictured last year) on Friday pleaded guilty to fraud in a Zoom court hearing that media were allowed to dial in to but could not photograph or record
Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli (pictured last year) on Friday pleaded guilty to fraud in a Zoom court hearing that media were allowed to dial in to but could not photograph or record 
Lori with the couple's daughters Olivia Jade (right) and Isabella Rose (left)
33 wealthy parents of college applicants were accused of paying more than a total of $25 million to William Rick Singer (pictured) who used part of the money to inflate entrance exam test scores and bribe college official
Lori with the couple's daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose (left). She and her husband paid Rick Singer, the scheme's mastermind, to pass them off as crew stars when neither had played the sport 
Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21. If the judge accepts their plea deals, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months.

The famous couple urged the judge this week to cut their bail from $1 million to $100,000. They also asked the judge to remove the requirement that their bonds be secured by a lien on their house. The defense said prosecutors have agreed to their request.
'There is no indication that Defendants will flee rather than face sentencing,' Loughlin and Giannulli´s attorneys wrote.
Some of the parents involved in the scandal tried to get out of their prison sentences or at least delay them by saying they were at risk of contracting coronavirus in prison.  
Neither Lori Loughlin nor her husband made mention of it as a potential motivator for them to plead guilty after they took deals this week. 
Their attorney declined to comment on their change of heart on Thursday. 
But others have used it as a potential get-out-of-jail free card. 
It follows a trend of other high profile, white collar criminals who have been released early or had their sentences delayed because of the virus. 
Among them are associates of the president, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, who were both released from custody earlier this month. 
Roger Stone had his sentence delayed.  
Michelle Janavs, whose family invented Hot Pockets, and Douglas Hodge, the ex-CEO of Pacific Investment Management Co., can remain free until at least June 30, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled Thursday.
Gorton denied their requests for home confinement instead of prison time, saying he will 'not forfeit his obligation to impose a sentence that is warranted by a defendant's criminal conduct' despite the 'evolving cause of concern' posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gorton said that if the crisis remains, he could renew their requests.
'If the public health crisis has not abated by the time of the extended report date, the court will entertain further motions,' the judge wrote.
Lawyers for Janavs and Hodge had argued it's too dangerous to send them to prison. 
The virus has been rampant in prisons and jails across the country, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed officials to consider moving nonviolent and vulnerable inmates to home confinement to help limit the spread of the virus behind bars.
Janav's attorneys had asked if she could serve five months in home confinement at her mansion on California's wealthy Newport Coast. According to real estate records, Janavs resides in a six-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion estimated to be worth $11 million.
'If Ms. Janavs were to surrender to (Bureau of Prisons) custody, she is highly likely to become infected with COVID-19. 
'And because of her underlying health condition, she faces a much higher risk than others of serious complications, hospitalization, or death from the virus,' her lawyers wrote as part of her appeal.
Details about her health condition were blacked out in the filing.
Janavs is due to serve her sentence at FPC Bryan - a minimum-security facility located northeast of Austin, Texas.
Their lawyers didn't immediately respond to email seeking comment Friday.
Janavs' father co-founded Chef America Inc whose' company created the microwavable food Hot Pockets before being sold to Nestle SA for $2.6 billion in 2002
Hodge, who served as CEO of Pimco from 2014 to 2016, had been scheduled to begin serving prison sentences of five and nine months, respectively earlier this month.
They were sentenced in February after pleading guilty to participating in a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with a college admissions consultant through fraud and bribery to secure the admission of their children to top universities.
The judge said prison time was needed to deter others who might use their wealth to break the law. 
She apologized for her actions and for hurting her family and friends.
Janavs was sentenced after admitting to paying the consultant at the center of the scheme $100,000 to have a proctor correct her two daughters´ ACT exam answers.
She also agreed to pay $200,000 to have one of her daughters labeled as a fake beach volleyball recruit at the University of Southern California but was arrested before she was formally admitted, prosecutors said. 
California couple plead guilty to paying $250,000 to get their daughter into USC in latest Varsity Blues college bribery plea deal California couple plead guilty to paying $250,000 to get their daughter into USC in latest Varsity Blues college bribery plea deal Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:58 Rating: 5

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