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Former accountant to plead guilty in college admissions scam

Steven Masera (center) arriving in federal court in Boston on March 25.
Steven Masera (center) arriving in federal court in Boston on March 25. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

An accountant who worked for the consultant at the heart of the national college admissions scandal has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering, the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said Friday.

Steven Masera, 69, of Folsom, Calif. has also agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation into the scheme, prosecutors said in a statement Friday.

Federal prosecutors will recommend a sentence of one year of supervised release, a fine, restitution, and forfeiture, according to the terms of the plea agreement.

A plea hearing has yet to be scheduled.

At the center of the case is William “Rick” Singer, a college admissions consultant who has pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme, which included two main strategies: He either paid test administrators to help students score better on their ACTs or SATs, in some cases having someone take the test for them, or he bribed coaches to name students as athletic recruits to facilitate their admission, even if the applicant didn’t play that sport.

Masera worked for companies Singer set up to facilitate the scheme. He was an accountant and financial officer for Edge College & Career Network LLC and Key Worldwide Foundation, in California.

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The racketeering conspiracy charge Masera faces provides for a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars, up to three years of supervised release, a fine, and restitution.

Masera was among 50 people charged in March with participating in the scheme. Prominent parents and athletic coaches at prestigious schools were also arrested.

Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty earlier this month of conspiring with a college counselor to inflate her daughter’s SAT scores.


Material from the Associated Press and previous Globe coverage was used in this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.

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