Ex-Canadian football player gets 3 months in college admissions scandal

A high-profile Canadian dad who paid $200,000 to cheat his two sons’ way into California colleges — and helped craft a bogus admissions essay claiming one boy had been mugged by an LA street gang — is now headed to prison for three months, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

David Sidoo, a Vancouver businessman and former Canadian professional football player, was sentenced to 90 days behind bars in a Massachusetts federal court for paying the hefty sum to college admissions scandal mastermind William “Rick” Singer.

Sidoo, 61, first paid $100,000 to Singer in 2011 to have Harvard-educated test proctor Mark Riddell fly out from Tampa Bay to the Canadian city to take the SAT in place of his older son, according to prosecutors.

The son had initially taken the test himself, scoring 1460 out of 2400. Riddell notched the boy a score of 1670, landing the student in Chapman University.

Sidoo then made another $100,000 payment in 2013 to repeat the scheme the following year for his younger son. This time Riddell scored 2280.

Later that year, Singer drafted a bogus essay for the second son claiming he’d worked with an organization that combats gang violence in LA — and that he himself had been held up by gang members, but was saved by a rival gangbanger named “Nugget,” prosecutors have alleged.

“Sidoo wrote back with minor changes to the essay, and asked, ‘can we lessen the interaction with the gangs. Guns …? That’s scary stuff. Your call you know what they look for,’ ” court documents said.

The part about guns was taken out, and the essay was submitted to multiple universities.

The younger Sidoo son was ultimately accepted to the University of California-Berkley.

In March, Sidoo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. In addition to his three-month prison sentence, Sidoo faces a year of supervised release and has been ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.

Sidoo, who played professional football for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions, was stripped of his prestigious Order of British Columbia title over his actions. The University of British Columbia also renamed “David Sidoo Field,” according to the CBC.

Dozens of other wealthy parents, athletic coaches and others have been charged in the sprawling “Varsity Blues” scandal, which also included kids being accepted to schools as bogus athletic recruits.

Others who have pleaded guilty include “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, as well as “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman.


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