LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Former USC assistant women’s soccer coach Laura Janke, along with a parent who funneled Janke hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get his children admitted to USC, are the latest defendants to agree to plead guilty in the admissions bribery scandal, authorities announced Tuesday.
Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, created fake athletic profiles for the daughter and son of 56-year-old Toby MacFarlane of Del Mar in order to get them admitted to USC, the Justice Department reports.
Janke, who departed USC in 2014 after coaching there for seven seasons, is pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, while MacFarlane, a former senior executive at a title insurance company, will plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
MacFarlane paid $450,000 in bribes to Rick Singer – the ringleader of the college admissions scam – in order to get his daughter and son into USC, federal prosecutors said.
Racketeering conspiracy, along with mail and honest services mail fraud, each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. However, as part of their plea deals, the two will likely receive significantly lesser sentences. Janke has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
In March 2014, MacFarlane’s daughter was admitted to USC as a soccer recruit after Janke created a fake athletic profile for her which falsely listed her as a “US Club Soccer All American,” the Justice Department said.
In exchange, MacFarlane paid Singer $250,000 in the form of donations to Singer’s fake charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, and Singer’s college consulting business. Of that, Singer paid Janke $100,000 through a private soccer club which she controlled.
Then, in March of 2017, MacFarlane’s son was admitted to USC as a basketball recruit thanks to a fake athletic profile also created by Janke, prosecutors said. In February 2017, MacFarlane cut USC Athletics a $50,000 check, and in April, after his son was admitted, he sent Ringer’s fake charity a $200,000 check.
Along with Janke, former longtime head USC women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin has also been indicted in the case. He was fired by USC back in 2013.
On March 12, the FBI charged 50 people — including 33 parents and nine coaches — in a massive bribery scheme in which wealthy families paid millions to Singer to help their children cheat on standardized tests and bribe test administrators and college coaches to help get their kids into top universities like UCLA, USC, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown. Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin was among those charged.
On April 8, Huffman was among 13 parents and a coach who agreed to plead guilty in the case. Huffman plead guilty to charges that she paid Singer $15,000 in the form of a donation to help her oldest daughter cheat on the SAT.
Meanwhile, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are among several other parents who plead not guilty last week. Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither ever rowed crew.