Del Mar businessman will plead guilty in college admissions scandal


SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A former Del Mar insurance executive is one of two individuals who will enter guilty pleas in the college admissions cheating scandal.

Federal prosecutors say Toby MacFarlane paid close to half a million dollars by defrauding the system to have his son and daughter admitted to USC.

MacFarlane, a 56 year old insurance executive who lives in Del Mar, plans to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

MacFarlane is one of the 33 parents who are charged in the case. Former owner of San Diego’s news channel eight, Elizabeth Kimmel, as well as actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, were also named in last month’s indictment. A total of 50 people face federal charges.

Parents are accused of paying admissions consultant Rick Singer to falsify their children’s test scores and pay off college coaches to get their children admitted as athletic recruits.

The payments were allegedly funneled though a phony charity set up by Singer.

In MacFarlane’s case, prosecutors say his daughter was recruited for the USC soccer team after she was falsely described as a US-Club Soccer All American. MacFarlane’s daughter was admitted to the school in 2014 but never played for the team.

In 2017, McFarlane’s son, who is five foot five, was admitted as a recruit to the USC basketball team. He also did not play the sport and left the school last year.

According to prosecutors McFarlane paid a total of 450,000 dollars, most of that money allegedly going to Laura Janke, a former USC assistant soccer coach. Prosecutors say she created bogus profiles that depicted both children as talented athletes.

Janke will also enter a guilty plea to racketeering conspiracy and has agreed to co-operate with federal authorities.

The conspiracy charge leveled against Toby MacFarlane carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of at least 250,000 dollars.

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