Beverly Hills Real Estate Developer Sentenced in College Admissions Case


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Beverly Hills real estate developer was sentenced today to a month behind bars in connection with the college admissions scandal.

Robert Flaxman, 62, was also sentenced by a federal judge in Boston to a year of supervised release following prison and was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and pay a fine of $50,000. Flaxman pleaded guilty in May to federal counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Flaxman was the 10th parent to be sentenced in the far-reaching case.

Beginning in the 2016, Flaxman conspired with Newport Beach businessman William “Rick” Singer and others to have his daughter's ACT exam corrected, thereby fraudulently inflating the score, prosecutors said.

As part of the scheme masterminded by Singer, Flaxman took steps to secure extended time for his daughter to take the ACT and to take the exam at a test center in Houston, Texas, that Singer controlled through a corrupt test administrator. On Oct. 22, 2016, Flaxman's daughter and the child of another client of Singer both took the ACT with the assistance of co-conspirator Mark Riddell, prosecutors said.

Riddell assisted in answering exam questions and instructed the students to answer different questions incorrectly so that the ACT would not suspect cheating. As a result of the cheating scheme, Flaxman's daughter received a score of 28 out of 36 on the exam, according to federal prosecutors.

Two days prior to the exam, Flaxman made a donation of $75,000 to Singer's sham charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, to pay for the fraud. Thereafter, Flaxman deducted the bribe payment from his income taxes, thereby defrauding the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors said.

Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the nationwide bribery scandal, in which wealthy parents paid Singer thousands of dollars to have their children's entrance-exam scores doctored. In other cases, students were falsely admitted to elite universities as athletic recruits, even though they never had any experience in the sports for which they were being recruited.

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman on Tuesday began serving a 14- day term behind bars for her role in the bribery scheme. The “Desperate Housewives” actress pleaded guilty to paying a $15,000 bribe to have a proctor correct her daughter's answers on a college-entrance exam.

“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy and money- laundering charges in the scandal.

Singer pleaded guilty in March in Boston to charges including racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice, and Riddell pleaded guilty in April.

Photo: Getty Images

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