A 56-year-old “corrupt test administrator” convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering in the college admissions scam known as “Operation Varsity Blues” was sentenced on Tuesday to home detention.
Massachusetts-based U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced Igor Dvorskiy, a Sherman Oaks, California resident, to three months of home detention and a year of supervised release. Dvorskiy must also forfeit $149,540.
Dvorskiy expressed remorse in his sentencing memorandum, which attached a letter to the judge as an exhibit.
The self-described asylee from Ukraine said that he is “horrified knowing how much harm” he caused after getting involved with admissions scandal mastermind William “Rick” Singer. Dvorskiy, the former director of West Hollywood College Preparatory School, said that he was taken in by Singer’s “apparent success” and came to the conclusion that “using West Hollywood College Preparatory campus as a testing center would be beneficial” to the school. He also said he believed the money Singer offered him was “appropriate.”
Dvorskiy said he started “submitting intentionally false information to the College Board and ACT” after learning Mark Riddell was correcting test scores. Dvorskiy said he rationalized at the time that he was helping “needy” students. In reality, Singer and others involved in the scheme were helping the children of the wealthy and famous get into their schools of choice without merit.
For instance, in the cases of Dr. Gregory Colburn, 63, and Amy Colburn, the wealthy couple’s crime was paying $25,000 to Singer’s sham charity under the guise of helping “underserved kids.” That money was used to pay off Dvorskiy so the Colburns’ son could get a top SAT score. Riddell, described by DOJ as “a corrupt test ‘proctor,’” was then able to correct the test answers.
The DOJ described Dvorskiy and Riddell’s offenses this way:
Dvorskiy administered the SAT and ACT exams at the private school in Los Angeles where he was a director. In exchange for bribe payments directed to his school by co-conspirator William “Rick” Singer – typically $10,000 per student – and in violation of his duty of honest services to the ACT and the College Board, Dvorskiy allowed another co-conspirator, principally Mark Riddell, to purport to proctor the ACT and SAT exams for the children of Singer’s clients and to correct their answers after the exams. Dvorskiy then returned the falsified exams to the ACT and College Board for scoring. Dvorskiy cooperated with the government’s investigation.
Riddell went on to receive four months in prison. Singer has not yet been sentenced.
“I did not know about the true nature and the depths of the scheme orchestrated by Mr. Singer. But I now understand the negative and sad impact that this atrocious conspiracy has had on the community at large,” Dvorskiy wrote.
Because Dvorskiy pleaded guilty, cooperated with the investigation, and was deemed less culpable than others, prosecutors recommended a sentence of home detention:
As explained below, the government submits that his conduct places Dvorskiy in the middle, in terms of culpability, of defendants who facilitated the test-cheating aspect of Singer’s scheme. But unlike some test-cheating defendants who have been sentenced to probation, including both a facilitator and parents, Dvorskiy provided substantial assistance in the government’s investigation and prosecution of other co-conspirators. Accordingly, and for the reasons further detailed below, the government recommends that Dvorskiy be sentenced to 1 year of supervised release, to include 3 months of home detention, and an agreed-upon forfeiture money judgment of $149,540, which represents the salary he was paid by WHCP during the pendency of his involvement in the scheme, and a $100 special assessment.
That’s the sentence the defendant ultimately received.
Read the memoranda below:
[Image via WCVB screengrab]
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