Boston–The former men’s soccer coach at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), entered a guilty plea today in connection with his involvement in a scheme to use bribery and fraud to facilitate the admission of applicants to UCLA.
Jorge Salcedo, 47, of Los Angeles, Calif., entered a guilty plea as to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani deferred acceptance of the plea until sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 24, 2020. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the sentencing guidelines, one year of supervised release, a fine, forfeiture in the amount of $200,000 and restitution.
In 2016, Salcedo agreed with William “Rick” Singer, Ali Khosroshahin – a former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California – and others to facilitate the admission of the daughter of Davina and Bruce Isackson to UCLA as a purported women’s soccer recruit. Salcedo emailed the UCLA women’s soccer coaches the Isacksons’ daughter’s transcript, test scores, and a fake soccer profile that he had received from Singer and Khosroshahin. When UCLA compliance officers questioned how the Isacksons’ daughter was discovered and whether she actually played soccer, Salcedo created a fake backstory about how he learned about the Isacksons’ daughter through a club team coach. Around June 29, 2016, UCLA provisionally admitted the Isacksons’ daughter as a recruited walk-on for the women’s soccer team. For his part in the deal, Salcedo received $100,000 of the $250,000 that the Isacksons paid Singer.
In 2018, Salcedo agreed with Singer and Khosroshahin to “recruit” the son of Xiaoning Sui, another client of Singer’s, to the UCLA men’s soccer team despite the fact that Sui’s son did not play soccer competitively. In the recruitment paperwork, Salcedo falsely reported that he had seen Sui’s son play in China and that he planned to offer him a 25% scholarship which would be “good value” for a player of his quality. Around Nov. 6, 2018, as a result of Salcedo’s recruitment, Sui’s son was admitted to UCLA as a student-athlete on the men’s soccer team with a 25% scholarship. In exchange, Salcedo accepted a $100,000 bribe from Singer, who had been paid $400,000 by Sui.
Salcedo also agreed with Singer to recruit another student. During a consensually recorded call on Nov. 30, 2018, Singer proposed to Salcedo that he had another student for Salcedo to recruit who was not a “real soccer player.” Singer asked Salcedo if they could “do the same deal we did with” Sui’s son. After Singer clarified that the deal would be for 2020, Salcedo affirmed that he could give the student a scholarship in return for $100,000.
Singer, Khosroshahin, Davina and Bruce Isackson, and Sui have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the offense. Sui was sentenced to time served of approximately five months in prison. Singer, Khosroshahin and Davina and Bruce Isackson are cooperating with the government’s investigation.
Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.
The charge of racketeering conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 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.