Green­wich lawyer to plead guilty in ad­mis­sions scan­dal

Prose­cuters fight for ‘low-end’ max­i­mum prison sentence

The News-Times - - OBITUARIES - By Jo Kroeker jo. [email protected] hearst­medi­act.com

Af­ter his ar­rest on March 12, Ca­plan was ac­cused in fed­eral court doc­u­ments of pay­ing $75,000 to have a hand-picked proc­tor over­see an ACT exam taken by his daugh­ter and “cor­rect the an­swers af­ter she had com­pleted it,” ac­cord­ing to fed­eral doc­u­ments.

GREEN­WICH — Green­wich lawyer Gor­don Ca­plan is one step closer to find­ing out his fate, af­ter he was caught in the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a col­lege- ad­mis­sions cheat­ing ring that en­snared 50 par­ents on the West and East coasts.

Ten weeks af­ter Ca­plan was ar­rested, the for­mer Green­wich lawyer will ap­pear in fed­eral court in Bos­ton along­side Napa Val­ley vint­ner Agustin Huneeus Jr., an­other par­ent indicted in the no­to­ri­ous case in which 50 peo­ple charged, to of­fi­cially en­ter his guilty plea. Ac­tress Felicity Huffman plead guilty last week, the first high- pro­file par­ent to do so.

Ca­plan and Huneeus are sched­uled to ap­pear be­fore fed­eral Judge Indira Tal­wani Tues­day af­ter­noon. They are ex­pected to plead guilty to the same crim­i­nal charges.

Af­ter his ar­rest on March 12, Ca­plan was ac­cused in fed­eral court doc­u­ments of pay­ing $ 75,000 to have a hand-picked proc­tor over­see an ACT exam taken by his daugh­ter and “cor­rect the an­swers af­ter she had com­pleted it,” ac­cord­ing to fed­eral doc­u­ments. Pros­e­cu­tors have rec­om­mended he pay a fine of $ 40,000 and re­ceive a prison sentence “on the low end” of the max­i­mum of 20 years.

Pros­e­cu­tors al­lege that Huneeus worked with con­spir­a­tors who helped one of his daugh­ters cheat on her SAT exam. They ac­cused him of con­tribut­ing $ 50,000 to a fake char­ity that ul­ti­mately would go to Univer­sity of Southern California ath­letic of­fi­cials to help her gain ad­mis­sion as a water polo re­cruit, sim­i­lar to Sloane’s son.

The Green­wich lawyer apol­o­gized in a state­ment re­leased April 8, the day he an­nounced he will plead guilty.

“I take full and sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for my con­duct and I am deeply ashamed of my be­hav­ior and my ac­tions,” Ca­plan said. “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.”

His daugh­ter is still more than a year away from go­ing to col­lege, and had no idea that he made ar­range­ments to have her ACT test fixed, he said.

“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,” he said. “She had no knowl­edge what­so­ever about my ac­tions, has been dev­as­tated to learn what I did and has been hurt the most by it.

“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. The re­morse and shame I feel is more than I can con­vey,” Ca­plan said in the state­ment.

He ap­peared in fed­eral court in Bos­ton in April with oth­ers charged in the no­to­ri­ous case, in­clud­ing ac­tress Lori Lough­lin, of “Full House,” and her fashion de­signer hus­band Mos­simo Gian­ulli. Lough­lin and Gian­ulli pleaded not guilty.

Ca­plan re­mains free on $ 500,000 bond. He faces a felony con­vic­tion, which would mean an au­to­matic dis­bar­ment.

Also, Ca­plan is no longer with Man­hat­tan-based in­ter­na­tional law firm Wil­lkie Farr & Gal­lagher, where he was a lawyer and a cochair­man, af­ter he sig­naled his in­ten­tion to plead guilty. His firm had al­ready placed him on leave af­ter his ar­rest in March.

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