TPG's McGlashan Among Defendants Charged in College Scheme

(Bloomberg) -- William McGlashan, who heads TPG’s business promoting social good, has been charged in a sweeping criminal conspiracy with helping his son try to win admission to top colleges including the University of Southern California.

McGlashan, managing partner of TPG Growth, was named along with other parents, coaches and test administrators in the indictment. The schemes included giving cash to test-takers to help students cheat on entrance exams and paying coaches to designate applicants as athletic recruits, according to prosecutors.

TPG's McGlashan Among Defendants Charged in College Scheme

The buyout executive allegedly worked with others in an elaborate scheme to help his son get into USC. He paid $50,000 to a charity with the understanding that his son’s answers on the ACT exam would be improved, according to court documents.

Under the arrangement, in 2017 a proctor traveled to Los Angeles from Tampa, Florida, to administer the ACT at a test center rather than at the student’s high school in Northern California, the documents say. After the student took the test, the proctor corrected his answers to produce a score of 34 out of a possible 36. That score was later submitted as part of his application to Northeastern University in Boston.

McGlashan, whose conversations were captured on a wiretap, also discussed creating a fake sports profile of his son as a football kicker to help him gain admission at USC as a recruited athlete -- a ploy referred to as a “side door.”

The accomplice, called Cooperating Witness 1 in the documents, told McGlashan he had made false athletic profiles “a million times.”

Fake Athletic Profile

“I’ll pick a sport and we’ll do a picture of him,” said the accomplice, who planned to use Photoshop software. “We’ll put his face on the picture whatever. Just so he plays whatever.”

McGlashan said he had pictures of his son playing lacrosse. But since it was their understanding that USC didn’t have a lacrosse team, they settled on making the student a football player. And because his high school didn’t field a football squad, they decided to turn him into a punter who learned the skill at a sports camp.

“You could inspire him,” McGlashan said to his accomplice. “You may actually turn him into something. I love it.”

The total cost to the private equity executive: at least $250,000, the documents say.

A representative in New York for TPG, a private equity firm with more than $103 billion in assets, said he had no immediate comment. McGlashan couldn’t be reached for comment.

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