B.C. businessman admits to college scam, sentencing in July

B.C. businessman admits to college scam, sentencing in July

Vancouver businessman, ex-CFL player David Sidoo plead guilty to mail fraud conspiracy charge

A former Canadian Football League player pleaded guilty Friday to participating in a college admissions cheating scheme by hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons.

Vancouver businessman David Sidoo pleaded guilty to a mail fraud conspiracy charge in Boston federal court.

The plea deal calls for Sidooo to serve 90 days in prison and pay a $250,000 fine, which must be approved by the judge.

Sidoo was among 50 prominent parents, university athletic coaches and others charged last March in the alleged scheme, which authorities say involved rigged entrance exams and bogus athletic credentials to make applicants look like star athletes for sports they didn’t play.

ALSO READ: B.C. businessman to plead guilty in U.S. college admissions scam

Prosecutors said Sidoo paid the admissions consultant at the centre of the scheme $200,000 to have someone pose as his sons using a fake ID to secure higher scores on their SATs.

Sidoo, who is known for his philanthropic causes in British Columbia, played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions.

He was CEO of mining firm Advantage Lithium Corp. when he was arrested last year and was also a founding shareholder of an oil and gas company that was sold in 2010 for more than $600 million.

Sidoo, 60, said little in court except to answer questions from the judge about the plea agreement. His lawyer, Martin Weinberg, declined to comment after the hearing. Sidoo is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

He had been scheduled to go on trial in January alongside six other prominent parents still fighting charges in the case. Eight other parents, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are scheduled to stand trial in October.

Sidoo joins nearly two dozen parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who have already pleaded guilty. Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison. Sentences for other parents range from no prison time to nine months behind bars.

The test taker, Mark Riddell, pleaded guilty last April and has been co-operating with investigators. He has not yet been sentenced.

ALSO READ: Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Sidoo graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1982 where he held a four-year football scholarship with the UBC Thunderbirds. After graduating, he was the first Indo-Canadian to play professionally in the CFL.

He has received the Order of B.C. and is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

His biography on the Hall of Fame website says he grew up in New Westminster and went on to become an MVP defensive back at UBC, where he helped lead the football team to an undefeated season and the school’s first ever Vanier Cup national championship in 1982.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest man covered in blood on heels of significant Saanich crash into woods

Resident calls in home invasion in progress after crash

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read