Ex-UCLA coach takes plea deal in college admissions scandal

A plea deal from the former UCLA coach implicated in the notorious admissions scandal resulted in prosecutors recommending a minimum sentence.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes will be forfeited.

Former UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday. 

Salcedo was charged last year, along with dozens of other defendants, in a massive college admissions bribery scheme. Led by William Singer, admissions officers and coaches around the country allegedly accepted bribes to admit the children of wealthy parents, using open spots on sports teams to enroll students.

Prosecutors are recommending minimal sentencing for racketeering; Salcedo will forfeit $200,000 taken in bribes along with restitution, pay a fine, and serve one year in supervised release. In exchange, all other charges will be dropped.

[Related: ‘Greedy colleges’ not off the hook for latest college admissions scam, scholar says]

According to federal prosecutors, Salcedo worked with Singer, Ali Khosroshashin- a coach at UCLA sports rival the University of Southern California- and others to admit the daughter of Davina and Bruce Isackson, a California real estate mogul. As payment, Salcedo received $100,00 of the $250,000 paid to Singer.  

The Isacksons pleaded guilty to fraud charges last year. 

In 2018, Salcedo “recruited” the son of Xiaoning Sui to the UCLA men’s soccer team, again working with Singer and Khosroshashin. However, as the prosecutors can’t help but point out, “Sui’s son did not play soccer competitively”.

“In exchange for the recruitment,” prosecutors said in a statement, “Salcedo accepted a $100,000 bribe from Singer.  Sui paid Singer $400,000.”

Sui pleaded guilty in February and is expected to receive a sentence for time served, along with a fine.

[Related: College admissions scandal meets foreign bribery]

Salcedo, 47, led the UCLA Bruins to four Pac-12 titles and thirteen NCAA tournament appearances over a 15-year career. 

UCLA did not respond to requests for comment.

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