“It’s a family you want to love,” a family acquaintance puts it. Adam Bass has paid no price for his involvement with Singer—perhaps because, as he told Buckley, he had no idea what Singer was doing; perhaps because the school successfully stopped an illicit scheme in its tracks, thus saving him from himself. And Singer knew how to make the test easy for Jack—so easy that he wouldn’t even have to take it himself. They moved to Italy, where they spent several years and had three sons and a daughter, before returning to L.A. Kate Tobin got an acceptance from USC and other colleges, according to a source close to her, but is still weighing her options. President and CEO of the Buchalter law firm, Bass was a bro done good. And her father was Adam Bass, a wealthy board member, with a B.A. “She was in that group. I wanted to be Morrie Tobin.” In 1981, he started at Yale, playing on the hockey team. A source close to Kate believes “there was an element of jealousy” in their negative view of her. That would be an achievement. But during the same school year, the Bass family would be stopped in its tracks, bringing the truth one step closer to coming out. (She has been fired and has pleaded not guilty.) “[I’d] probably like to do the same thing with [my daughter] with her ACTs,” she told Singer, “[because she’s] not a great test taker.”. Michael Heeter, a former Marlborough college counselor, recalls one of his students at the time telling him that “she was promised UCLA” by her college consultant—a guy he’d never heard of, a guy named Rick Singer. The son of an oil executive father and Olympic athlete mother, Sloane met his future wife, Cristina, an Italian, through a spiritual guru in L.A, according to a source. A new book reveals the shocking child porn raids, teen pregnancies and sexual abuse scandals that happened at private schools attended by some of the most important people in America. In March 2018, the FBI raided Tobin’s house looking for materials and arrested him. She was a woman who seemed to have it all: bouncy blonde hair and a super-fit body; two careers; two popular kids, Jack and Lilia, a teenage social media influencer with 1.5 million Instagram followers; and for 21 years before they recently split, a handsome, successful husband, motivational speaker Marcus Buckingham. He signed Eliza up with Singer, neglecting to mention it to administrators, and got to work making her an irresistible applicant. The “University of Spoiled Children” tag is back. “If I take him to Houston and then he can’t get the surgery, he’s gonna be very annoyed with me.”, Singer made calls to his cronies, fixing the details so that Jack could take the test from home, while Mark Riddell would complete the test in its entirety in Houston. In 2016, he joined the board of Buckley, a surefire sign of arrival. Now with USC’s central role in the massive college admissions scandal, the school is once more the butt of late-night television jokes. Mr. Singer was terminated from the board of the foundation immediately after the foundation’s board learned of the allegations against him.”. I’m going to Harvard.” Harvard learned of this; the kid is now taking a gap year. How was she going to explain this to Marcus? A few miles north, at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, there was the name of the respected entrepreneur father, Devin Sloane, who paid a bribe for his son Matteo to be designated as a water polo recruit for USC. According to a Buckley source, Werdesheim extolled the wonders of Rick Singer around the school community, telling people what a fabulous job he was doing with the kids from his charity. His youngest daughter, Kate, was a different story. Morrie, despite his own incomplete stint at Yale—or perhaps because of it—seemed set on Yale for his girls. Vanity Fair called upon Dave Ring, California’s go-to attorney for sexual abuse victims, for a detailed account of the events… “It’s not their fault, it’s their parents’,” Buckingham told an audience in 2016. 500, L.A.’s Most Influential” people list. “I know it is. She was sometimes treated like a concierge by the parents, according to a fellow administrator; they huffed when she didn’t return calls immediately. Now that mystery was solved, and many people were angry. The details were proving a bit tricky to sort out. On multiple occasions in 2017 and 2018, she went to school administrators and voiced her concern about students from Marlborough and elsewhere who she had heard were paying a West L.A. psychiatrist to state, erroneously, that they had a learning disability so that they could get extra time on their standardized tests. He got a jump on Kate’s college process early, starting in eighth grade. The admittance of one Tobin daughter from Marlborough, for example, raised eyebrows with at least one parent, who felt that her own daughter, who was at the top of the class, might have been unfairly denied a spot. When pressed further by Georgetown, Eliza explained that her father had worked with Singer on charitable endeavors that helped disadvantaged inner-city youths. That means working your teachers [emphasis author’s],” he wrote in Getting In (2014). Marlborough had been a target community for Singer going back to 2014, perhaps even earlier. Thanks to a provision for students with learning disabilities, and two alleged Singer coconspirators in Houston—master test taker Mark Riddell and test administrator Niki Williams—Jack would be able to “take” the ACT from the comfort of his own home while awaiting a tonsillectomy. And then I need you to get him into USC, and then I need you to cure cancer and make peace in the Middle East.” Then she forked over $35,000 of a promised $50,000 to Singer’s Key Worldwide Foundation and waited for her son to get into the University of Southern California. Don’t bulldoze a path for them. By late September, the FBI had what it needed to arrest him. SoCal Edison shuts off power in SoCal neighborhoods, CHP removes activists from Caltrans-owned homes in El Sereno, LA County COVID-19 transmission hits highest rate since March, SoCal weather: High winds prompt red flag warning on Thanksgiving, Watch Jeopardy! They were pillars of the community at their children’s private schools. “Call today! Out on the Brentwood quad, there was Jane Buckingham’s name. They talked about “doing good” and “giving back.” Their kids were friends with one another on social media, a tribute to their own social significance. As for Jane Buckingham, puzzled, disillusioned friends on either coast reached out with tentative “just checking in” emails. “That’s what happens when you give them a gold star for going to the potty and a trophy for not participating and telling them they are fantastic every day of their life.” Brentwood gobbled up her cool mom gospel. But Singer wasn’t done with the dudes on the Buckley board. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Marlborough launched an internal investigation and vowed to change its policies. School brass spoke with Adam Bass, hoping to find answers. Background photographs by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group, Daniel Slim/AFP, Maureen Sullivan, Craig Warga/Bloomberg, all from Getty Images. © 2020 Condé Nast. Which was fine, but God help him if his daughter, whom we’ll call Eliza, Buckley class of 2018, the oldest of his four children, wasn’t going to do better than that. Starting in 2017, investigators in Massachusetts began looking into the transactions, as some of the investors lived in the state. Later, when the college acceptances came out, and it was revealed that Kate had not been accepted to Yale, “they were all in the senior lounge, cheering and celebrating.” This group had made up its mind about Kate’s character—they believed that she must have been aware of her father’s actions. Together, Singer and Sloane selected USC and agreed to pass him off as a water polo athlete who played for the “Italian Junior National Team” and the “L.A. On the one hand, they felt bad for him. The bribes would come in monthly installments and would total mid-six figures. Werdesheim’s friend and fellow board member at Buckley, Adam Bass, got hooked on Singer too. Eliza wrote an email to Georgetown and Tulane explaining the same. However impressive Kate was as an applicant, Morrie Tobin wasn’t taking any chances. Cofounder and CEO of the Summa Group—a specialized division of Oppenheimer that manages $1.5 billion of clients’ personal wealth and offers financial planning advice—Werdesheim was just the sort of aspirational hotshot drawn to Singer. Some forbade their kid from hanging out at his house. He urged his students to do everything in their power to improve a grade, even by one increment. The following fall, Eliza applied to three colleges’ early action: Georgetown, Tulane, and Loyola Marymount. Sloane paid Singer $200,000 through the foundation and paid $50,000 to USC’s Women’s Athletics, an account controlled by Donna Heinel, the senior women’s athletic director and one of Singer’s alleged coconspirators.


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