Exam administrator sentenced to probation for role in college admissions scandal News
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Exam administrator sentenced to probation for role in college admissions scandal

Former college entrance exam administrator Niki Williams was sentenced Monday to one year of probation for her role in the fraudulent admissions scandal involving wealthy parents like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. 

Rick Singer has been identified as the scandal’s architect. Wealthy parents hired him to get their children into schools they were not qualified for. He falsified students’ athletic reports and rigged their test scores to get them in through what he called the “side door.” Singer pled guilty in March 2019. He could face up to 65 years in prison and over a million dollars in fines.

Williams, a special education teacher’s assistant at a Houston public school, accepted bribes from Singer on behalf of four clients. She allowed Singer’s colleague Mark Riddell to proctor Singer’s clients’ exams. Riddell then took the exams in their place or corrected their answers before turning the test in. Riddell has also pleaded guilty. 

Williams is one of 57 people facing charges for their involvement in the scheme. Prosecutors argued that she should serve six months in prison. US District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced her to one year of probation. She was also ordered to repay the $12,500 she had accepted in bribes. 

Talwani also explained that Williams had already been punished enough because she lost her job as a result of the charges. During the hearing, the judge said:

Certainly you did this for the money, but this wasn’t any pattern of self-interest in any kind of a larger scale…It makes me see this as a bad mistake you made…but not something that would dictate that you would be likely to ever do something like this again.

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