Former Willkie co-chair plans to plead guilty in college cheating scandal

Criminal Justice

Gordon Caplan

Gordon Caplan. Photo from Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Gordon Caplan, the former co-chairman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, says he will plead guilty in the college admissions scandal.

Prosecutors had accused Caplan of paying $75,000 to bribe an exam proctor to boost his daughter’s ACT score. Caplan said in a statement Friday that he will plead guilty to pending charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The American Lawyer, Reuters, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal have coverage.

“I apologize not only to my family, friends, colleagues and the legal bar, but also to students everywhere who have been accepted to college through their own hard work,” Caplan said in the statement.

“I want to make clear that my daughter, whom I love more than anything in the world, is a high school junior and has not yet applied to college, much less been accepted by any school,” he said. “She had no knowledge whatsoever about my actions, has been devastated to learn what I did and has been hurt the most by it.”

Willkie Farr had placed Caplan on leave a day after he was charged along with 49 other people in the college bribery scheme. In a statement Friday, the law firm said he is no longer a partner.

“Mr. Caplan’s departure is a result of his involvement in the college admissions matter and his recent statement regarding his intent to plead to a criminal charge,” the firm said. “At Willkie, nothing is more important to us than our integrity and we do not tolerate behavior that runs contrary to our core values. We remain focused on our responsibilities to our clients, partners and employees.”

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See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Rejected students sue for return of application fees at colleges embroiled in admissions scandal”


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