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Thursday, March 28, 2019

FORMER YALE UNIVERSITY COACH PLEADS GUILTY TO ACCEPTING BRIBES TO FACILITATE ADMISSIONS TO YALE

FORMER YALE UNIVERSITY COACH PLEADS GUILTY
TO ACCEPTING BRIBES TO FACILITATE ADMISSIONS TO YALE

BOSTON – The former Yale University women’s soccer coach pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to Yale as recruited athletes. 

Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, of Madison, Conn., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud and one count of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for June 20, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.

From 1995 through November 2018, Meredith was employed as the head women’s soccer coach at Yale University. Beginning in April 2015, Meredith agreed with William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., to accept bribes in exchange for designating applicants to Yale as recruits for the Yale women’s soccer team, and thereby facilitating their admission to the University.

In early November 2017, Singer received an email indicating that an individual wished to make a “donation” to “one of those top schools” for his daughter’s “application.” Singer sent the resume and personal statement of the client’s child to Meredith and stated that he would “revise” the materials to “soccer.” Singer then sent Meredith an athletic “profile” that falsely described the child as the co-captain of a prominent soccer club team in southern California. Meredith subsequently designated the child as a recruit for the Yale women’s soccer team – thereby facilitating her admission to Yale – despite the fact that the child did not play competitive soccer. On Jan. 1, 2018, after the child was admitted to Yale, Singer mailed Meredith a check for $400,000 from the account of his purported charitable organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF). During the summer of 2018, relatives of the applicant paid Singer $1.2 million in multiple installments.

On April 12, 2018, Meredith met with the father of another prospective Yale applicant in a Boston hotel room. During the recorded meeting, Meredith stated that he would designate the child as a recruit for the Yale women’s soccer team in exchange for $450,000. At the meeting, Meredith accepted $2,000 in cash as a partial payment and provided bank account information for future payments.

On March 22, 2019, Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 19, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. in Boston.

The charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, and  honest services wire fraud and wire fraud, provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.

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