What happened to Rick Singer, the subject in Netflix’s Operation Varsity Blues? Here’s a legal update for the mastermind of a college admissions scam.
What happened to Rick Singer, the main subject in Operation Varsity Blues? The Netflix documentary examines a 2019 college admissions scandal that exposed wealthy Americans who offered bribes to academic institutions. Operation Varsity Blues recreates real-life phone calls, with actor Matthew Modine starring as Singer.
Operation Varsity Blues documents the specifics of Singer’s college admissions scheme, and what led to decades of deception. In the ’80s, the subject coached students at Sierra College in Sacramento, California, but ultimately changed careers because of his volatile personality. Singer then became a collegiate advisor and formed companies such as the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation, which allowed for people to make contributions that were actually bribes. The Netflix docuseries explains Singer’s professional network, and how “side-door” techniques ensured that clients’ children would be admitted to elite academic institutions.
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In 2019, celebrities such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were charged for their role in Singer’s collegiate scam. Operation Varsity Blues does indeed acknowledge the pop culture element of the case but mostly focuses on the logistics of the subject’s operation, and how parents strategized for their children’s academic success while keeping their methods a secret. The Netflix docuseries also details how Singer collaborated with the FBI after he was identified in a legal case involving Yale soccer coach Rudy Meredith. In March 2019, Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, tax conspiracy, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, but Operation Varsity Blues ends with the revelation that he remains a free man. So, where is Singer now?
In April 2019, Singer reportedly sold his five-bedroom home in Newport Heights, California for $2.5 million (via The Orange Country Register). He also pursued a psychology degree at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, but was no longer enrolled there as of July 2020 (according to USA Today) and had completed only five courses. As the Netflix documentary reveals, Singer still needs to testify in numerous cases. He’s currently facing 65 years in prison.
The official website for the U.S. Department of Justice shows that Singer’s sentence hearing isn’t currently scheduled. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Loughlin served a two-month sentence from October to December 2020, while her husband Mossimo Giannulli reported to prison in November 2020 to begin a five-month sentence (per CNN). Huffman also served a two-week sentence in October 2019. As for Singer, he remains a free man because of his cooperation with the FBI, and thus won’t be imprisoned until every other collaborator is sentenced; a fact that Singer’s lawyer, Robert Fisher, hints at in Operation Varsity Blues.
“Rick will be living with this for quite awhile. If he didn’t cooperate, he would have been charged, he would have been convicted already. Right now, he’s out, a free man still, and his cooperation won’t be complete until the very last person charged in this conspiracy is sentenced, and that is most likely going to be awhile from now.”
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