Former Canadian football star accused of paying $200G for sons' fake SATs

Boston Herald |

--A retired Canadian pro football star criminally flagged for paying more than $200,000 to have someone pose as his two sons and take their college-entrance tests will appear in a federal courtroom Friday as prosecutors continue to wend their way through dozens of exam-scam defendants.

David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, a British Columbia Sports Hall of Famer turned tycoon, was arrested in California earlier this month after his secret indictment in Massachusetts for mail and wire fraud.

He is expected to make his initial appearance Friday afternoon before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Sidoo is one of 50 people arrested and 13 already under indictment for what U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Tuesday is "the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice." The nationwide scandal has so far implicated 33 wealthy parents accused of collectively shelling out $25 million in bribes to buy their children's admissions into some of the country's most elite institutions of higher learning -- among them, Academy Award-nominated actress Felicity Huffman. Huffman has been ordered to appear in Boston on .

According to his previously sealed and still partially redacted indictment, Sidoo paid more than $200,000 to an unnamed individual or individuals to have someone pose as his two sons and take their SATs.

Sidoo's older son was admitted to private Chapman University in California in 2012 after one individual created phony IDs from copies of a driver's license and student identification card Sidoo allegedly emailed him. An individual also substituted for the older son at his Canadian high school graduation exam, the indictment states.

The younger son was accepted to the University of California, Berkeley, in 2014 after his father allegedly agreed to repeat the same process on his behalf for the same price, plus $5,000 to cover international travel expenses on behalf of his two boys' educations, prosecutors allege.

Last October, one of the unnamed individuals called Sidoo from Boston. Sidoo mentioned that his older son was now interested in applying to business school, according to the indictment.

Sidoo played free safety for six years in the Canadian Football League for the BC Lions -- the team former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie would later sign with -- and the Saskatchewan Roughriders before retiring in 1988 and reinventing himself as a highly successful entrepreneur in the industries of petroleum and financial management.

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