Vancouver businessman David Sidoo is facing more charges in the United States related to his alleged involvement in the U.S. college admissions scam.
The new charges claim that parents involved in the scandal hid their illegal payments, in part, under the guise of charitable donations to help low-income kids get an education, according to an updated indictment released Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Justice says Sidoo has now been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in addition to a prior charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
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Sidoo, 59, is one of 16 parents accused in the scandal facing new charges on Tuesday, including Full House actor Lori Loughlin.
Sidoo is accused of paying William “Rick” Singer $200,000 between 2011 and 2012 to have a professional test taker secretly take SAT exams for his two sons and to take a provincial graduation exam for one of his sons.
The new money laundering charge refers to allegations that parents funneled the cash through an organization called The Key or KWF to “conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of bribe and other payments in furtherance of the fraud scheme.”
Sidoo is accused of making a $100,000 payment by this method in January 2013 to pay for one of his son’s SAT tests.
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Investigators allege the money was disguised as charitable donations to The Key.
The organization, in turn, “issued letters falsely attesting that the purported donations would help ‘provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth,’ and that ‘no goods or services were exchanged’ for the money,” according to the indictment.
The Key also issued fake “consulting” agreements and invoices to hide the payments as legitimate services, the indictment alleges.
Both the wire fraud and money laundering charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in U.S. prison.
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Sidoo pleaded not guilty to the earlier charge on March 15, and was released on $1.5 million bail, with his travel restricted to Canada and the U.S.
He took a leave of absence from his role as president and CEO of East West Petroleum, as well as his role as president of Advantage Lithium in mid-March.
One of his sons, Dylan Sidoo, stepped down from his executive position with East West Petroleum last week.
Sidoo, a former CFL player, is also a noted philanthropist and has played a major role in supporting the University of British Columbia’s football team.
The university’s Sidoo Thunderbird Stadium bears his name.
— With files from Srushti Gangdev and Richard Zussman