Ex-Stanford coach avoids prison time in college bribery scam
A former head sailing coach at Stanford avoided prison time when a judge sentenced him for his role in a sweeping college admissions scam at elite U.S. universities.
John Vandemoer is the first person to be sentenced in the case that exposed the lengths that some wealthy parents will go to get their children into the nation's top schools.
Vandemoer admitted to agreeing to help students get into Stanford as recruited athletes in exchange for money for his sailing program.
U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel sentenced him to one day in prison, which he was deemed to have served. He will pay a $10,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring.
Zobel said she believed it was important that Vandemoer be punished because "it's too easy to do this kind of thing." But she said she didn't believe he needed to serve time behind bars, noting the powerful letters of support he received and calling him probably the "least culpable" of those charged in the case because he didn't take any of the money for himself.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen told the judge that a prison sentence was necessary to send a message to other defendants charged in the case and other people considering on cheating the college admissions system, which he said is "crying out for reform."