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Monday, August 19, 2019

College applicants sue Key Worldwide Foundation, colleges over alleged student-athlete recruitment scheme

Federal Court

By Carrie Bradon | Jul 15, 2019


SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – Several current and former students of universities and colleges across the nation allege their applications did not receive fair consideration because of a student-athlete recruitment scheme.

Alyssa Tamboura, Marine Hall-Poirier, Keith Hall, Laurence Poirier, and others, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on June 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against William "Rick" Singer, The Key Worldwide Foundation, The Edge College & Career Network LLC, doing business as "The Key," and other colleges and universities alleging violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and other allegations.

The suit states that Singer owns and is the CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), a for-profit college counseling and preparation business he founded in 2007. The plaintiffs allege that Singer enriched himself "to the tune of millions of dollars through fraud and bribery" with payments from parents who hired him or his business to create false sports profiles to make it seem that teens were superior athletes.

"Then Singer would offer significant, hefty bribes to employees of the universities — typically coaches or managers in the school’s athletic department," the suit states. "The bribed university officials would then bypass otherwise qualified student candidates and instead insert into those athletic admissions slots applicants who did not qualify as persons excelling in sports."

The plaintiffs allege they were injured by paying an application fee to apply to the defendant colleges and universities and did not receive fair consideration because others were admitted based on whether they paid bribes.

The plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury, injunctive relief, attorneys' fees, court costs and other relief deemed fit. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys with Zimmerman Reed LLP in Manhattan Beach, California, and Minneapolis; Gustafson Gluek in Minneapolis; and Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett and Bendesky in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 5:19-CV-03411

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division

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