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Calif. former accountant sentenced to time served in college admissions scandal

Steven Masera, center, arrived for his appearance in federal court in Boston in June, 2019.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

A former accountant in the college admissions bribery case has avoided prison time for his role in the scheme uncovered in 2019, the US Attorney’s office for Massachusetts said.

Steven Masera, 72, of Folsom, Calif., was sentenced to time served Friday during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Boston. He will have to remain on three years of supervised release and pay a $20,000 fine, prosecutors said in a statement.

Masera pleaded guilty to the charge of racketeering conspiracy in June 2019, and agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation, according to court records.


Masera worked for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation from 2008 to 2017 as an accountant for William “Rick” Singer, the leader of the scheme that involved fake academic and athletic qualifications.

Masera managed parent payments for the athletic recruitment “side-door”, test-cheating and back-end payments to university officials and other people in Singer’s scheme, the district attorney’s office said.

The investigation into the scheme revealed dozens of parents and individuals who helped cheat college entrance exams and athletic scholarships for children to elite American universities.

Masera also invoiced parents for Singer’s services and made bribes to university coaches and athletic administrators who controlled university athletic funds and SAT and ACT administrators and proctors, the statement said. He also created fake donations receipts and invoices for parents to write off their payments as donations or business expenses on their taxes.

Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.