Prominent Lawyer Will Plead Guilty to Role in College Admission Scandal: 'I Am Deeply Ashamed'
A high-powered lawyer announced Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the criminal charges he faces in the college admissions cheating scandal.
Gordon Caplan, a former co-chairman of the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, is accused of paying $75,000 to ensure that his daughter did well on her ACT exam or college admissions exam, the New York Times reports.
“I take full and sole responsibility for my conduct and I am deeply ashamed of my behavior and my actions,” Caplan said in a statement, obtained by PEOPLE. “I apologize not only to my family, friends, colleagues and the legal bar, but also to students everywhere who have been accepted to college through their own hard work.”
In his statement, he said his daughter, who had not yet applied to any colleges, had no idea about his scheme.
“I want to make clear that my daughter, whom I love more than anything in the world, is a high school junior and has not yet applied to college, much less been accepted by any school,” Caplan wrote. “She had no knowledge whatsoever about my actions, has been devastated to learn what I did and has been hurt the most by it.”
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“My immediate goal is to focus on making amends for my actions to try to win back the trust and respect of my daughter, my family, and my community,” he wrote. “The remorse and shame that I feel is more than I can convey.”
According to the Times, Caplan was taped by William “Rick” Singer, the admitted mastermind behind the college admissions bribery scandal who had pleaded guilty to multiple charges. In the recordings, Caplan allegedly spoke about having somebody else take the exam and allegedly asked multiple times about what his chances were of getting caught, the Times reports.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP said Caplan was no longer an active partner in the firm, ABC7 reports. The firm could not be reached by PEOPLE for comment.
Caplan’s attorneys Joshua Levy and Michael McGovern of Ropes & Gray and Patrick Smith and Sarah Zimmer of Smith Villazor could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors allege that dozens of parents — including Huffman and Loughlin — paid large sums to Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which Singer has admitted was a front for the scam. Then, prosecutors allege, the KWF would bribe coaches and administrators to accept the donors’ kids into prestigious college programs.
Loughlin, Huffman and other defendants appeared in court on Wednesday but have not yet entered pleas to the charges against them.