Two USC athletic department employees a high-ranking administrator and a legendary head coach were fired Tuesday after being indicted in federal court in Massachusetts for their alleged roles in a racketeering conspiracy that helped students get into elite colleges and universities by falsely designating them as recruited athletes.Senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and mens and womens water polo coach Jovan Vavic were fired after allegedly receiving bribes totaling more than $1.3 million and $250,000, respectively, to help parents take advantage of the relaxed admissions standards for athletes at USC even though their children were not legitimately being recruited as athletes.Former USC womens soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin, who was fired in 2013, and his former assistant coach, Laura Janke, who left the school in 2014, were also named in the indictment for allegedly fabricating athlete profiles for the prospective students.,Khosroshahin and Janke allegedly received payments totaling nearly $350,000 sent to their private soccer club.Federal prosecutors on Tuesday indicted dozens of people including UCLA mens soccer coach Jorge Salcedo and actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin in connection with an elaborate scheme aimed at getting students into elite colleges.The scheme centered around the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company that wealthy parents allegedly paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools for which they otherwise might not qualify, according to court records.We are aware of the ongoing wide-ranging criminal investigation involving universities nationwide, including USC, the university said in a statement.,Donna Heinel and Jovan Vavic have been terminated and the university will take additional employment actions as appropriate.USC is in the process of identifying any funds received by the university in connection with this alleged scheme.,Additionally, the university is reviewing its admissions processes broadly to ensure that such actions do not occur going forward.The other athletic departments named in the alleged racketeering conspiracy are Yale, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Stanford, Texas and the University of San Diego.,The indictment states that, by accepting bribes to falsely designate students as recruited athletes, the coaches and administrators were in the violation of the duty of honest services owed to their employers, thereby facilitating the childrens admissions to the universities.Heinel was USC athletics chief administrative officer and senior woman administrator.Vavic led the Trojans water polo teams to a combined 16 national championships and is a 15-time national coach of the year.Vavic was arrested without incident in Hawaii.
In allegations that sent shock waves through academia, federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused top CEOs, two Hollywood actresses and a legendary fashion designer of taking part in an audacious scheme to get their children into elite universities through fraud, bribes and lies.The scheme, which began in 2011, centered around the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company that wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown, according to court records.Fifty people, across academia and college sports as well as a cadre of super-wealthy parents, have been charged in what prosecutors say is the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.,Some parents participated in one aspect of the scheme, while others paid for both, stealing slots from hard-working students with legitimate grades and test scores, authorities said.William Rick Singer, who owns the admissions company called the Edge College Career Network, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice, racketeering and conspiracy to defraud the United States.,In at least one instance, a student claimed to have a learning disability to obtain medical documentation required by the College Board and ACT Inc. to grant additional time on the tests, according to court documents.Once the students were given additional time, which generally allowed them to take the test over two days instead of one and in an individual setting, the clients were instructed to change the location of the exam to either a public high school in Houston or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood that Singer controlled, according to the documents.At those locations, prosecutors allege, Singer bribed test administrators Igor Dvorskiy, of Los Angeles, and Lisa Niki Williams, of Houston, with the parents money to facilitate cheating on the exams.,Singer had a psychologist on his team assign fake learning disabilities to give students an academic advantage, the charges say.Coaches and private admissions counselors allegedly received money for helping to get students admitted as athletes at Yale, Stanford and USC.USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and mens and womens water polo coach Jovan Vavic were alleged to have received bribes totaling more than $1.3 million and $250,000, respectively, to help parents take advantage of the relaxed admissions standards for athletes at USC even though their children were not legitimately being recruited as athletes.,It described spending thousands of dollars on trips for dental students to help needy Cambodians and offering math tutoring to underserved children in Oakland.Prosecutors said the charity was nothing more than a means to launder money to an array of people requiring bribes.Our contributions to major athletic university programs may help to provide placement to students that may not have access under normal channels, the organization stated in tax documents.Federal law enforcement began the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, in May 2018, based on a tip from a confidential source who was being interviewed as part of a separate investigation, said FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta.Make no mistake: This is not a case where parents were acting in the best interests of their children.
Distrust between the Bridgeport community and the city’s police department has re-emerged following last week’s release of an Internal Affairs report citing 17 officers for misconduct related to a 2017 incident.,In other news, West Haven’s Jay W. Barrett, who is in the end stages of cystic fibrosis, is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump and received campaign memorabilia this weekend after receiving a call from the president last week.,Here are some of the top stories from this weekend:
Jeannia Fu — who is involved with the Justice for Jayson group that formed after the fatal 2017 Bridgeport police shooting of 15-year-old Jayson Negron — said the findings of an Internal Affairs report indicating officer misconduct were troubling.,Other Bridgeport community members are feeling the same way after the 405-page report cited 17 city police officers for misconduct in their handling of a 2017 Halloween party.,A dying West Haven man who made international headlines last week when he received a “bucket list” telephone call of encouragement from President Donald Trump was given a few mementos this weekend.
The Irvine-based gaming company Blizzard will cut 209 jobs in a retrenching by its parent company Activision Blizzard.,The nonprofit in a statement said Desmond has more than 20 years of experience working with area nonprofits, including 13 years at Goodwill of Orange County in a variety of roles within the development department.,The Irvine-based gaming company Blizzard will cut 209 jobs in a retrenching by its parent company Activision Blizzard.The layoffs, effective in mid-April, were posted to the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications.,(Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register)
Dr. Adam Rivadeneyra, a primary care sports medicine specialist, has joined Hoag Orthopedic Institute.,The nonprofit in a statement said Desmond has more than 20 years of experience working with area nonprofits, including 13 years at Goodwill of Orange County in a variety of roles within the development department.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS (CBSLA) — The identity of a 9-year-old girl found murdered on a hiking trail in Hacienda Heights last week has finally been determined.,The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported Sunday that the girl whose body was found partially inside a duffel bag along the 3400 block of South Hacienda Boulevard, near Glenmark Drive, on the morning of Tuesday, March 5, was identified as 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones, an L.A. County resident.,At a candlelight vigil Sunday evening where her body was found, Jones’ father, Antonio Jones, confirmed to CBS2 that his family believes Trinity was the little girl who was found in some bushes along the trail by some workers.,A sketch released by sheriff’s investigators last week showed a young, skinny girl without shoes, a pink shirt with “Future Princess Hero” written on it and panda pants.,Detectives believe Jones’ body may have been dumped on the trail on Sunday, March 3.
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Another shot was fired Tuesday in the battle between Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors over control of hiring decisions, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas declaring that Villanueva is endangering public trust in the department.,On Monday, the county filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging Villanueva’s reinstatement of Caren Carl Mandoyan, who was fired in 2016 by then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell after being accused of domestic violence.,RELATED: Officials Attempt To Reverse LA Sheriff’s Controversial Reinstatement Of Fired Deputy
Calling the need for action “unprecedented” and “uncomfortable,” Ridley-Thomas previewed a motion, to be heard next Tuesday, asking county lawyers to review whether the sheriff’s “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” is legal.,Mandoyan’s firing was upheld by the county Civil Service Commission, but Villanueva reinstated the deputy in his first weeks as sheriff after his upset defeat of McDonnell in last November’s election.,The county’s lawsuit contends that Villanueva does not have the legal authority to reverse the decision of the Civil Service Commission and reinstate Mandoyan, rendering the move “void as a matter of law.”
This Sunday, County of Orange officials plan to pull the plug on a five-year field agreement they struck with the youth football and cheer team back in 2017.,Back then, a frustrated County Supervisor Shawn Nelson engaged youth league leader, Fred Jung, to help revamp a local sports field that had been largely abandoned by the county parks department, just off Rosecrans Avenue, near Clark Regional Park.,Supervisor Doug Chaffee, a Democrat who now represents the Fourth District and is a former Fullerton Mayor, told me he has asked OC Parks to keep the City of Fullerton in charge of administering the fields on a “fair” basis to “all” teams.,Without any action from the county on the lease, the challenge now turns to Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer to consider the special circumstances behind the development of those sports fields and figure out a use agreement that can keep the Bears doing what they are doing for so many working class kids.,Indeed, County supervisors and their city colleagues should work diligently to ensure that any kid living in one of their districts could attend an inexpensive youth sports activity every day.
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Actor Luke Perry, who starred on the long-running hit show “Beverly Hills, 90210,” suffered a stroke Wednesday.,(Getty Images)
Perry, 52, was taken by ambulance to a Los Angeles-area hospital after paramedics responded to his home in Sherman Oaks.,A representative for Perry told ET he remained under observation at the hospital.,It’s unclear if Perry will be part of the show.,Perry currently stars in the CW show “Riverdale.”
FAIRFIELD — Police continued their investigation Wednesday into a deadly crash early Tuesday that left a 62-year-old man dead and two others with what police have described as serious injuries.,A person passing the scene stopped and assisted the deputy and Fairfield police officers as they tried to extinguish the vehicle fire and remove two occupants from the car.,A man who was the passenger in the car died from injuries he received during this collision, Fairfield police report.,The Fairfield Police Department’s Major Accident Investigations Team responded and investigated the crash.,Anyone with information about the hit-and-run case is asked to call Officer Ryann Fuentes or the Fairfield Police Traffic Unit at 428-7300.
File photo of a skateboarder at the skate park at Jennings Beach in Fairfield, Conn. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.,less
File photo of a skateboarder at the skate park at Jennings Beach in Fairfield, Conn. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.,It’s one of a few concrete parks in the county, which is why skaters are hoping to add one in ... more