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Dentist charged in college admissions scandal lost book deals because of case, lawyers say

The campus of University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The campus of University of Southern California in Los Angeles. (Rozette Rago/New York Times)

A prominent California dentist charged in connection with the nationwide college admissions cheating scandal has lost three book deals because of the onslaught of publicity surrounding the case, legal filings show.

But on Wednesday the defendant, Dr. Homayoun Zadeh, 57, heard some good news when a federal judge in Boston granted his request to travel abroad for speaking engagements while his case is pending.

Zadeh’s charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for allegedly conspiring to pay a $100,000 bribe in several installments in exchange for having his daughter certified as a lacrosse recruit at USC, even though she didn’t play the sport competitively, records show.

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Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley on Wednesday approved Zadeh’s motion for permission to travel to upcoming conferences in foreign locales.

The motion, filed March 21, laid out the professional challenges faced by Zadeh since his arrest.

“As a result of his highly publicized arrest, Dr. Zadeh has been placed on administrative leave from his position as the director of the Laboratory for Immunoregulation and Tissue Engineering at the University of Southern California, and has lost 3 book contracts,” the motion said. “Dr. Zadeh makes this motion to avoid canceling upcoming speaking events so that he may continue to earn a living and pay his legal fees to defend against the charges in this case.”

According to court records, Zadeh is slated to give talks on April 19 in Malaysia, April 21 in Taiwan, May 3 in Canada, and May 31 in France.

“Dr. Zadeh is an internationally respected periodontist, and is not a flight risk,” the motion said. “He has strong ties to southern California, where he lives, works, and was arrested. He has been a professor at the University of Southern California for 26 years, where he also received his D.D.S. in 1987.”

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The filing noted that Zadeh has paid a “substantial bond of $100,000 to guarantee his presence. As the Court is aware, the matter has already been the subject of intense scrutiny and Dr. Zadeh has already garnered significant media interest. It is highly unlikely that a defendant in this matter could successfully flee, and any attempt to flee would result in national and even international headlines.”

Zadeh is one of 50 people charged in the breathtaking scheme that has also ensnared coaches, Hollywood stars, and captains of industry.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.