Bay Area residents implicated in college admission scandal appear in court

BOSTON (KGO) -- The Bay Area residents implicated in the college admissions cheating scandal appeared in court today.

LIST: These Bay Area residents have been charged in alleged college admissions scam

Six defendants from five Bay Area families appeared before a judge in Boston. They're among dozens charged in an illegal scheme to get their unqualified children into some of the nation's top colleges.

Mill Valley executive William McGlashan made his appearance Friday morning. Prosecutors say McGlashan paid $50,000 to bribe a proctor to improve his son's answers on the ACT.

RELATED: Palo Alto parents now facing money laundering charge in college admissions scandal

He has since been fired from his job as managing partner at the private equity firm TPG.

Friday in court he faced charges of "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud."

The right to a preliminary hearing was waived, his prior bond was reinstated, and his passport was taken, restricting his travel to the U.S.

McGlashan had an international family vacation planned before the scandal came to light. The judge denied his vacation stating, "the evidence that McGlashan took part in a scheme to rig ACT is overwhelming," and reinforcing that he is not allowed to travel abroad.

Here's a more in-depth look at the allegations against McGlashan:

Paid Singer's foundation $50,000 to rig the ACT exam for his son. Agreed to pay $200,000 to Singer so USC official Donna Heinel would get his son into the school as a football recruit. In a court filing, McGlashan's lawyers say he never paid any bribes and that his son really does have a well-documented learning disability so legitimately deserved the extra time he got for his ACT test: "Mr. McGlashan did not pay for the use of a so-called 'side door' to obtain admission for his son at USC or any other college. In fact, Mr. McGlashan's son has not even graduated high school, and he withdrew his college applications."

Bay Area vineyard owner Agustin Huneeus also appeared in court Friday on charges of "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud."

Allegations against him include participating in both the college entrance exam cheating scheme and the college recruitment scheme for his daughter, conspiring to bribe USC assistant athletic director Donna Heinel and water polo coach Jovan Vavic, and contributing $50,000 to Singer's "bogus charity."

Today the court reimposed Huneeus' prior bonds. When it comes to family members who may be witnesses, the judge ruled he may talk with them but cannot talk about the case.

Todd and Diane Blake of San Francisco also appeared in court. He is a venture capitalist, while she is a retail executive.

They both waived their rights to preliminary hearings and turned over their passports. The judge ruled that they could not travel outside the United States.

The Blakes are accused of agreeing to bribe for USC athletic official Donna Heinel to get their daughter into USC as a volleyball recruit. They allegedly paid $50,000 to USC Women's Athletics and $200,000 to Singer's foundation. Their daughter was admitted to USC but is not playing volleyball.

Marjorie Klapper of Menlo Park appeared and was released on bond.

The judge also took her passport and restricted her travel to the United States.

Klapper, who co-founded a jewelry business called "M&M Bling", is accused of paying $15,000 to Singer to rig her son's ACT exam. When her son got a 30 out of 36 on the exam, Klapper sent and e-mail stating: "OMG. I guess he's not testing again."

Marci Palatella, the wife of former 49er star Lou Palatella, was one of the last to appear Friday.

She also waived her right to a preliminary hearing, was released on bond, and turned over her passport to the judge.

Palatella is the CEO of distillery in Kentucky but lived and worked in the Bay Area for decades.

She allegedly paid Singer's foundation $75,000 to rig her son's SAT exam. She is accused if sending USC official Donna Heinel a $100,000 check to get her son recruited into USC as a defensive lineman and long snapper for the football team.

ABC7 News I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow is in Boston to cover the Operation Varsity Blues hearings. Follow her coverage on Twitter, Facebook and her reports today on ABC7 News.











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The Bay Area residents implicated in the college admissions cheating scandal are due in court today.

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