A prominent Vancouver businessman and philanthropist is stepping down from his post as President and CEO of East West Petroleum Corp, after being named as part of a massive college admissions scandal in the US.
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David Sidoo, a father of two, is accused of paying someone $100,000 to take the SAT test for his older son, and another $100,000 to have someone take the SAT for his younger son.
On Thursday, East West Petroleum Corp said in a statement that in light of the reports, “Mr. Sidoo has decided it would be in the best interests of the company to take a leave of absence from his executive role in the company.”
However, the company noted, the subject matter of the legal proceedings is unrelated to their activities or business and “Mr. Sidoo remains as a director.”
According to the US department of Justice (DOJ) Sidoo was one of the dozens of individuals who were named as part of an investigation by the DOJ which alleged that dozens of individuals were involved in a nationwide conspiracy “that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits.”
The indictment laid out the step-by-step process of Sidoo’s participation in the scandal.
Court documents said Sidoo played a part in carrying out the “conspiracy” by:
- Cheating on the SAT and ACT by having (unnamed) secretly take the tests in place of actual students or replace the students’ responses with his own;
- Submitting the fraudulently obtained scores as part of the college admissions process, including to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts.
From “in or about 2011, and continuing through in or about February 2019,” the District of Massachusetts, the District of Connecticut, the Northern District of California, the District of Columbia and elsewhere, “David Sidoo conspired…to commit offences which included both mail and wire fraud,” the documents read.
According to his website, Sidoo oversees a successful private investment banking and financial management firm.
Upon graduating from the University of British Columbia in 1982, where he held a four-year football scholarship with the UBC Thunderbirds, he was drafted to play professional football with the Canadian Football League. He retired in 1988 and became a broker with Yorkton Securities.
He was a founding shareholder of American Oil & Gas Inc. (NYSE -AEZ) which was sold to Hess Corporation in Dec 2010 for over US$600 million.