L.A. businessman Devin Sloane will spend four months in prison for conspiring with admissions scandal mastermind William “Rick” Springer to dupe USC into admitting his son as a water polo star, despite that the applicant had never played the sport.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, since Sloane’s son attended the Buckley School, which has no water polo team, Sloane and Singer engineered a hoax to portray Sloane’s son as a member of the Italian youth national team. According to a sentencing memo, Sloane—who pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit fraud—dressed his son in a Speedo cap emblazoned with the Italian flag that he purchased on Amazon and took pictures of him in the backyard pool, posing with a ball he also bought on Amazon.
Sloane then sent the pics to a graphic artist, who altered them to make it appear as if the student had been in an actual match. When Singer received the images, the memo indicates he pointed out that the youth was only up to his waist in the water, noting, “No one gets that high.”
Sloane then had the designer try again, this time putting the surface of the water up to Sloane’s son’s armpits, the memo says. “Perfect,” Singer replied in an email.
Incidentally, Sloane is the founder and CEO of waterTALENT, a “provider of drinking water and wastewater systems, among other businesses.”
Sloane paid out a total of $250,000—$200,000 wired to Singer’s foundation and a $50,000 check written to Donna Heinel, who was then the third-ranking administrator in the USC athletics department; she was arrested in March and pleaded not guilty in May to conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Instead of jail time, Sloane’s lawyers had asked U.S. District Court Judge Talwani to give him three years of supervised release, a $75,000 fine, and 2,000 hours of community service.
Talwani cited Sloane’s “breathtaking disregard for basic principles of good parenting and common decency” in smacking down that request.
Sloane will also have to pay a fine of $95,000 and serve 500 hours of community service.