Former USC Soccer Coach Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Case

Boston–The former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California (USC) pleaded guilty today in connection with her involvement in a scheme to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate the admission of applicants to selective colleges and universities.

Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, Calif., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for Oct. 17, 2019.

As set forth in the charging documents, Janke conspired with Rick Singer and others to fabricate athletic “profiles” and other documents to bolster students’ college applications by making them appear to be highly successful high school athletes when in fact they were not. In exchange, Singer made direct payments to a private soccer club controlled by Janke and another defendant.

The charge of racketeering conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and restitution.

Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the Guidelines range, one year of supervised release, a fine, restitution, and forfeiture.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.