Phil Mickelson Admits Using Company Behind Alleged Admissions Scam to Help Kids Apply to College
The professional golfer admitted to using Rick Singer to help his children with college admissions but denied any wrongdoings or involvement with the alleged nationwide fraud
On Thursday, the professional golfer, 48, revealed in a tweet that he was one of the many who used Singer’s Edge College & Career Network company but received admissions guidance and not anything more. Singer is believed to be the mastermind of the alleged scheme.
Unlike the 50 people who have been indicted as part of the alleged nationwide fraud, Mickelson said he was not involved, in part because his three children — Evan, 15, Sophia, 17 and Amanda, 19 — would “disown” him and his wife Amy if they “tried to interfere.”
“Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admission process. We are shocked by the revelations of these events,” he tweeted.
“Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere,” Mickelson added.
Reps for Mickelson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Federal court records unsealed in Boston on Monday named 50 people, including high profile actresses Felicity Huffman and Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, who were indicted as part of the alleged nationwide college scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.
“Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston,” the release said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI alleged in the indictment that the scheme helped students gain acceptance to top schools by helping them cheat on college exams.
Some named in the court documents allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, University of Texas and Wake Forest, according to federal prosecutors.
It also helped students get into top colleges as athletes no matter what their abilities or even if they played the sport, according to the indictment. Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, were also implicated.
Huffman, 56, allegedly gave $15,000 to Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter,” the indictment states.
Loughlin, 54, allegedly gave $500,000 to have her children designated as crew team recruits, when they had never rowed, the indictment states.
Singer, meanwhile, pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to defraud US; obstruction of justice on Tuesday. He was released on a $500,000 bond and his sentencing is scheduled for June 19.
Mickelson and his wife both graduated from Arizona State University — the same school that Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were hoping their daughter Isabella Rose, 20, could avoid.
In an April 2016 email obtained by federal agents, Giannulli allegedly wrote to an unnamed cooperating witness and copied Loughlin, saying that he and his wife had just met with Isabella’s college counselor and that he wanted to “fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a roadmap for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than [Arizona State University]!”
Mickelson’s eldest daughter Amanda currently attends Brown University, according to The New York Times.