David Sidoo, of Vancouver leaves following his federal court hearing Friday, March 15, 2019, in Boston. Sidoo pleaded not guilty to charges as part of a wide-ranging college admissions bribery scandal. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via AP)

B.C. businessman David Sidoo faces new allegations in college bribery scandal

None of the allegations contained in the indictment have been tested in court

A well-known businessman and philanthropist from B.C. faces fresh allegations in a new indictment filed in a college bribery scandal unfolding in the United States.

David Sidoo has already pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the case.

The new indictment does not add any charges but makes new allegations including that admissions consultant William (Rick) Singer wrote a fake college application essay for Sidoo’s youngest son in 2013.

The indictment alleges that the essay described Sidoo’s son’s purported internship with an organization that worked to combat violence among Los Angeles-based gangs.

It says the essay falsely claimed that the young man had been held up at gun point by gang members in Los Angeles, but Sidoo replied asking for the interactions with gangs to be reduced.

Sidoo’s lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday but has previously said his client strongly denies wrongdoing.

None of the allegations contained in the indictment have been tested in court.

READ MORE: Vancouver man faces new money-laundering charge in college admissions scandal

According to the indictment, Sidoo replied to Singer’s first draft of his son’s essay saying, “can we lessen the interaction with the gangs. Guns…? That’s scary stuff. Your call you know what to look for.”

The revised essay, without the reference to guns, was later submitted as part of Sidoo’s younger son’s application for admission to multiple universities, the indictment alleges.

It also alleges that Sidoo asked Singer in 2015 to ask a Florida prep-school administrator named Mark Riddell to take either the business Graduate Management Admission Test or Law School Admission Test for his older son.

In exchange, Sidoo agreed to pay Singer a sum of money and Singer, in turn, agreed to pay Riddell about $100,000, the indictment says.

Singer and Ridell then allegedly researched the security measures for both exams and decided against Riddell taking the LSAT because of fingerprinting requirements.

Riddell wired $520 to China in December 2016 to pay for fraudulent drivers’ licences that he planned to use to pose as Sidoo’s older son for the graduate management test, the indictment alleges.

However, the indictment says the false identifications were not high quality and Riddell decided not to take the exam on behalf of Sidoo’s son.

ALSO READ: Surrey mom facing more charges in U.S. college bribery scandal

Previous indictments have alleged that Sidoo paid $200,000 to have individuals secretly take college entrance exams in place of his two sons.

The Justice Department says charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

More than 50 people including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been charged in the college admissions scheme. Huffman pleaded guilty, as have Singer and Riddell. Loughlin pleaded not guilty.

Sidoo, 59, is a former Canadian Football League player who retired from the sport in 1988 and pursued a career in brokerages and private investment banking. He has received the Order of B.C. and is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Sidoo is not the only B.C. resident facing charges.

Xiaoning Sui, a 48-year-old Chinese national who lives in Surrey, was arrested on an indictment last month in Spain on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

It is unclear whether Sui has a lawyer to speak on her behalf and the allegations against her have not been tested in court.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Ivy at Nelson Courthouse to be removed

The ivy is causing structural damage to the building

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

As Nelson hotels close, some try to stay open without guests

Vacancies are there, even for people who need to self-isolate

Nelson police make drug bust in Railtown

Drugs, weapons and stolen property were among the items found

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

Most Read