Vancouver businessman accused of paying $200k for sons to pass college entrance exams

Mar 13 2019, 12:50 am

A prominent Vancouver businessman and philanthropist is one of dozens of people named in a massive college admissions scandal, that has also implicated Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

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On Tuesday, the US department of Justice (DOJ) said 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.”

Among those individuals implicated in the case is prominent Vancouver businessman and father of two, David Sidoo.

The indictment laid out the step-by-step process in which Sidoo ultimately paid $100,000 for someone to take the SAT test for his older son, and another $100,000 to have someone take the SAT for his younger son.

CNN report said the admissions scandal consisted of two parts.

The first involved parents who “allegedly paid a college prep organization to take the test on behalf of students or correct their answers. Secondly, the organization allegedly bribed college coaches to help admit the students into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their actual ability,” the report said.

The report said a total of 50 people were charged in the investigation, including SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents.

According to court documents, 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.

In 2008, The Vancouver Sun voted Mr. Sidoo one of the top 100 South Asians making a difference in British Columbia.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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