Greenwich resident Gordon Caplan, the former co-chairman of Manhattan law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, has pleaded guilty in the college admissions cheating scandal, admitting that he paid $75,000 to get a test supervisor to correct the answers on his daughter’s ACT college entrance exam.
The formal plea follows Caplan’s announcement in April that he would accept a deal in which he and prosecutors agreed to a recommended term of 8 to 14 months in prison, a fairly common sentence for someone with no criminal history accused of such crimes.
Prosecutors have recommended that Caplan receive on the low end of the 8 to 14 months.
Caplan was recorded making phone calls about the cheating, according to the criminal complaint. “It’s just, to be honest, I’m not worried about the moral issue here,” he was quoted as saying during one such call. I’m worried about the, if (my daughter is) caught doing that, you know, she’s finished.”
Caplan, who exited Willkie in March, has maintained that his daughter knew nothing of his activities on her behalf.
His guilty plea is one of the first in the case, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Federal authorities have charged 50 people after working with convicted mastermind William “Rick” Singer, who cooperated with the investigation and helped authorities wiretap some of the suspects’ phone calls.
Singer made $25 million over nearly a decade by helping families get their children into colleges through such actions as changing the applicants’ SAT and ACT grades and creating fraudulent athletic profiles.
The defendants include former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty last week, and “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin.