Stanford Students File First Admissions-Scandal Class Action

(Bloomberg) -- The University of Southern California, Yale University, the University of California Los Angeles and other colleges were sued by two Stanford University students seeking class status over the admissions-bribery scandal that broke Tuesday with charges against 50 parents, coaches, proctors and others.

Erica Olson and Kalea Woods say they were denied a fair opportunity to gain legitimate admission to elite colleges, and that their Stanford degrees were devalued, by criminal racketeering charges leveled by federal prosecutors.

The students claim they were denied a fair opportunity to apply for admission at Yale and USC, respectively, according to their March 13 complaint.

The lawsuit, seeking class certification, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Elite schools including Stanford, Yale, Georgetown University and others are enmeshed in the criminal case, which alleges that parents, coaches, and administrators at numerous highly-selective universities fraudulently conspired to gain admission of students through the payment of bribes and other inducements.

As a result of the alleged fraudulent bribery schemes, “unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission,” the complaint states.

Causes of Action: Civil Racketeering, 18 U.S.C. §1962(c); Calif. Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code §§1750-1784; California Unfair Competition Act Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code §§17200-17209; negligence

Relief: Damages with interest

Attorneys: The Medler Law Firm APC and Zimmerman Reed LLP represent the plaintiffs.

The case is Olsen v. Singer, C.C.N.D. Cal., No. 19-cv-01351, filed 3/13/19.

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