MARCH 14--While most parents kept their offspring in the dark when it came to the illegal steps being taken to rig admission to top colleges, one child of privilege was all in when it came to brazenly cheating her way into school, records show.
Amber Zangrillo, 20, whose father Robert was arrested Tuesday on a federal fraud charge, is the poster child of the nationwide cheating scandal.
Zangrillo’s father, a Miami-based venture capitalist and real estate developer, has been accused of paying $250,000 to illegally get his youngest daughter into USC as a transfer student.
Zangrillo, a debutante who once competed in equestrian events, applied for admission to USC while a senior at the private Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara. But her 2017 application “was rejected,” according to a U.S. District Court filing.
After failing to get accepted by USC, Amber (seen at right) did not begin matriculating at a four-year college in 2017. Instead, she apparently took online classes via Ria Salado College. However, as alleged by federal prosecutors, Zangrillo and her father kept their sights on USC despite have already received a rejection letter.
Which is how William Rick Singer entered the picture.
Singer, 59, was the mastermind of the college cheating ring that resulted this week in the arrest of dozens of parents and college coaches and administrators. Singer, who has been cooperating with federal investigators, pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple felony charges related to the scheme. Court papers do not reveal how the Zangrillos met Singer or whether the consultant had previously been used by the family (Amber’s older sisters are recent graduates of USC and NYU).
In the wake of Amber’s rejection by USC, prosecutors