William Singer, mastermind of alleged college admissions scam, sent son to DePaul

An ABC7 I-Team Exclusive
CHICAGO (WLS) -- William Singer, the man who pleaded guilty to running a scheme to help powerful and wealthy parents fraudulently get their children into college, sent his son to DePaul University.

The I-Team has learned that Singer donated $150,000 to DePaul through his Key Worldwide Foundation in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while his son was a student at the university.

WATCH: Singer donated $150K to DePaul while son was student
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The I-Team has learned that William Singer donated $150,000 to DePaul in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while his son was a student at the university.



A DePaul University spokesperson says Singer's son graduated in 2017. In a statement to the I-Team, university officials say "to date, our review has not revealed any reason to believe these donations are connected to recent indictments." DePaul also told the I-Team that the donations were "in support of helping students study abroad."

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Federal prosecutors in Boston on Tuesday charged 50 people, including celebrities like Lori Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman, as well as CEOs and college coaches.

Authorities say the operation, dubbed Varsity Blues, uncovered 33 parents described by US Attorney Andrew Lelling as a "catalog of wealth and privilege" who collectively paid $25 million to Singer, who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in an investigation into what Lelling called the "widening corruption of elite college admissions."

In exchange for the money, Singer allegedly bribed college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students secure admissions "not on their merits but through fraud," Lelling said.
In a promotional video uncovered by the I-Team, the elder Singer told prospective clients that "as a father" he understood "the stress a college admission process can put on a family." "Getting into the right college will set the trajectory of your son or daughter's life. Don't leave it to chance," he continued.

"This is breathtaking in its scope," said ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer of Katten Law. "The number of people involved, the number of schools involved, the number of insiders, the number of parents, the number of students, it's really stunning, I don't think it has any precedent," Soffer said.

IRS documents for Singer's foundation obtained by the I-Team show some of Singer's donations to DePaul were earmarked for the Religious Studies program. The university's website describes a "study excursion to Germany" called the Singer Research Study Trip for undergraduate Religious Studies majors. DePaul University officials tell the I-Team all of Singer's contributions to DePaul "were in support of helping students study abroad."

Key Worldwide Foundation IRS Documents



DePaul University Singer Research Study Trip



Full statement from DePaul University:


DePaul is among the many universities that received gifts from the foundation at the center of the admissions fraud case. We have confirmed receiving gifts totaling $150,000 from Key Worldwide Foundation, managed by William Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network and the father of a DePaul student who graduated in 2017.

DePaul solicits a number of constituencies for gifts, including parents. Not unlike many parents, Mr. Singer made several contributions to DePaul. These gifts were made by the Key Worldwide Foundation in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while his son was a student. All were in support of helping students study abroad.

To date, our review has not revealed any reason to believe these donations are connected to recent indictments.
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