Who Is Rick Singer? The Key CEO Helped Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Daughters and Plenty More Wealthy Scam Their Way Into College

William "Rick" Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice in a Boston court on Tuesday. The educational and life coach admitted all the allegations against him were true, including helping wealthy students—like the children of actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman—cheat on ACT and SAT exams. He also admitted to paying university coaches and athletic administrators to recruit unqualified students, despite knowing the teens were not eligible for college athletic teams.

"All of these things, and many more things, I did," Singer said in court. "I created a side door that would guarantee families would get in."

Singer was indicted, along with more than 40 others, including Full House star Loughlin and Desperate Housewives' Huffman, back in March.

Through his private life coaching and college counseling company, The Key, Singer was paid some $25 million from wealthy families to gain their children's entry into some of the top colleges across the country. In the 20 years of The Key's existence, Singer and his team have guided 90,000 adults and high school students through the admissions process for undergraduate and graduate degrees, according to The Key's website.

The company's exclusive services are only offered via referral in 81 U.S. cities and five international areas.

Acceptance into elite colleges through Singer's program was far more driven by financial factors than described on the website. An FBI recording of a conversation Singer had in June 2018 pointed toward the real deal behind The Key.

"What we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school," he said. "They want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don't want to be messing around with this thing."

Singer noted merit was what most families relied on for front-door admissions, while hefty school donations were often used to help students get backdoor access into college, but what he provided was a "side-door" solution, guaranteeing students admission if parents paid him.

Singer also offered his admissions expertise in his 2014 book, Getting In, in which Singer guided prospective college students and their families to getting accepted to the universities of their choosing.

Before establishing The Key, Singer held high positions at various financial call centers, including executive vice president at West Corporation, the U.S.'s largest publicly traded call center, and senior executive of retail bank call centers The Money Store/First Union Bank.

Who Is Rick Singer? The Key CEO Helped Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Daughters and Plenty More Wealthy Scam Their Way Into College | Culture