California businessman sentenced to 9 weeks in prison in ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scandal

A California businessman was sentenced to nine weeks in federal prison on Wednesday after he admitted paying $75,000 to have someone mark his son’s answers on the ACT college entrance exam, according to the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office.

I-Hsin “Joey” Chen, 67, of Newport Beach, Calif., is the 35th parent convicted in the nationwide college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues, the lawyer said American Rachael Rollins in a press release.

Chen, the owner of a storage company, appeared in US District Court in Boston. He was too sentenced to pay a $75,000 fine, face a year of supervised release and must complete 100 hours of community service, Rollins said.

Chen pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud in December 2021.

In early 2018, Chen hired William “Rick” Singer as a college counselor for his son and arranged for the transfer of his son’s ACT exam to a Singer test center “controlled” by bribes to a “corrupt” test administrator, officials said.

There, an invigilator secretly corrected Chen’s son’s answers to artificially inflate his score. In exchange for the fraudulent score, Chen paid Singer $75,000 disguised as consulting fees for his business, prosecutors said.


Charlie McKenna can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.

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