B.C. businessman pleads not guilty, released on $1.5M bail in college admissions scheme

The high-profile Vancouver businessman charged in a U.S. college admissions scheme has pleaded not guilty.

David Sidoo entered the plea in a Boston courthouse on Friday.

“[Mr. Sidoo] looks forward to fully contesting the charges in a well respected court and not in the media,” said Sidoo’s legal team in a statement Friday afternoon.

“He will be returning to his home in Canada and asks people not to rush to judgement.”

The District of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office said Sidoo has been released on $1.5 million bail, and that he will have is travel restricted to Canada and the U.S.

Sidoo, 59, has taken leave of absence from his role as president and CEO of East West Petroleum as well as his role as president of Advantage Lithium.

He is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and accused of paying $200,000 to have someone else take SAT tests for his two sons in 2011 and 2012.

It is also alleged that he had someone take a provincial exam for one of his sons in 2012. St. George’s School, where the boy was enrolled, says no such exams were written at the school by the student in question at or around the date in the indictment.

Court documents allege Sidoo paid William Singer to arrange for Florida man Mark Riddell to fly to Vancouver and take the tests.

One of Sidoo’s sons attended Chapman University, and the other went to UC Berkeley.

Sidoo, a former CFL palyer, is also a noted philanthropist and has played a major role in supporting the University of British Columbia’s football team.

The university’s Sidoo Thunderbird Stadium bears his name.

He is also a recipient of the Order of B.C.

Fifty people have been charged in the college admissions scheme, including 33 parents, among them CEOs and well-known actors.

According to prosecutors, the parents paid to have people either take exams for their children or to replace students’ exam responses with their own.

Some parents are also accused of paying bribes to coaches to falsely represent the prospective students as elite athletes to improve their chances of admission.

— With files from Jon Azpiri, Catherine Urquhart and the Associated Press

Source: Read Full Article