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Ex-Stanford Coach First Sentenced in Admission Scandal

Andy Berg

John Vandemoer, former sailing coach at Stanford, is the first to be sentenced in the federal college admissions scandal that rocked a number of elite universities.

District Judge Rya W. Zobel on Wednesday chose not to incarcerate Vandemoer after he pleaded for leniency, noting the he did not pocket the bribes personally and immediately accepted responsibility for his crimes.

Vandemoer will serve a one-day imprisonment, which has been deemed already served. He will also serve two years of probation and six months of home confinement.

Among the 50 coaches, parents and wealthy executive charged in the scandal, Vandemoer is the first to be sentenced. He pleaded guilty and admitted to taking $610,000 form William Singer, the architect of the scam. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Vandemoer gave the money he was paid to the Stanford sailing program. He designated three children of Singer’s clients as sailors in order to boost their chances of being accepted to Stanford.

Prosecutors in the case had asked Zobel to sentence Vandemoer to 13 months in prison, saying it was a just sentence for someone who had defrauded Stanford of its right to select the roughly 2,000 students it wants to admit from an applicant pool that reached nearly 44,000 last year.

“It is also the only way to begin restoring confidence in a college admissions system that most people agree is needlessly unfair,” wrote Assistant U.S. attorney Eric Rosen in a court filing.

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