Gordon Caplan, once the co-chairman of the Willkie Farr & Gallagher law firm and American Lawyer‘s “Dealmaker of the Year,” was sentenced to one month in prison, a fine of $50,000, 250 hours of community service, and one year of supervised release. Mr. Kaplan entered a guilty plea to paying Rick Singer $75,000 to have his daughter’s ACT score increased from a 22 to a 32. Mr. Caplan’s statement at sentencing was contrite and representative of the tragedy we see unfolding daily:
“This whole episode was at least in large part my own ambition for my daughter going to school. I lost sight of what is means to be a good father, as I obviously did not act in the best interest of my daughter. . . . Shame and humiliation haunt me.”
Judge Indira Taiwan commented on a distinction that she sees between the Caplan and Huffman cases in which parents paid to get a more “competitive package” for their children by increasing test scores and those cases in which the parents fraudulently used athletic admissions. Huh? It was fraud to have their children pose as athletes when they were not or high-scorers on admissions tests when they had not done so. Different ploys, but at the heart of both was representing their children as something they were not.