MARIN COUNTY, Calif. - A Marin County couple has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges for their role in securing their daughter’s admission to University of Southern California as a volleyball recruit, the Department of Justice said on Friday.
Diane Blake, 55, and Todd Blake, 54, both of Ross, will enter their plea before a judge on a date that has not yet been specified.
Diane Blake will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Todd Blake will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the DOJ said.
Diane Blake has agreed to six weeks in prison, a $125,000 fine, and two years of supervised release, plus community service under her plea agreement. Todd Blake’s plea agreement is for a sentence “subject to the Court’s approval”, four months in prison, a $125,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service.
According to the initial criminal complaint, the Blake's agreed to pay $250,000 in order to facilitate their daughter’s admission to USC as a purported volleyball recruit.
Associated Press reported USC spokesperson Lauren Bartlett said in an email that the university would not comment on the case.
The mail and wire fraud charges include a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The prison penalty for the money laundering charges are also up to 20 years.
William "Rick" Singer, who authorities say masterminded the scheme, pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation dubbed, “Operation Varsity Blues” — a series of indictments that have rocked the worlds of higher education, sports and entertainment.
Others who have pleaded guilty include “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband. And “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman. She was sentenced to two weeks in prison.
DOJ says the Blake’s are the 27th and 28th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions scandal that came to light in 2019.
Associated Press contributed to this story.