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AFFIDAVIT

D. I-HSIN “JOEY” CHEN

78. As set forth below, in or about April 2018, CHEN paid $75,000 to CW-1’s for-profit entity, The Key, in exchange for which CW-1 arranged to have CW-2 purport to proctor CHEN’s son’s ACT and correct his answers. As noted above, CHEN’s son and the ABBOTTS’ daughter both took the exam on the same day at the West Hollywood Test Center.

 

79. On or about April 16, 2018, CHEN paid CW-1 $75,000 to participate in the cheating scheme. The money was deposited into The Key’s bank account. CW-1 has advised law enforcement agents that he agreed to provide CHEN with an invoice falsely indicating that the payment was for “consulting” services for CHEN’s business.

 

80. CHEN’s son scored a 33 out of a possible 36 on the ACT exam.

 

81. In a call on or about October 23, 2018, CW-1, acting at the direction of law enforcement agents, told CHEN that CW-1’s charitable foundation was being audited by the IRS. The following is an excerpt from the conversation, which was consensually recorded.

CW-1 And so they’re looking at all the payments that have gone into our foundation.

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 So they asked about your payment, which was for [your son], you know, taking the test that we did for him at [the West Hollywood Test Center], with [CW-2] –

 

CHEN Yeah.


CW-1 And I’ve said that your payment of $75,000—

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 --went to our foundation to help underserved kids.

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 Okay?

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

82. Shortly after that call, CHEN called CW-1 back and said, in substance, that the description on the invoice he had received from CW-1 said “consulting service.” CHEN asked, “[W]hat should I say [if the IRS asks] -- consulting service or foundation?” CW-1 replied, “consulting services for the foundation.” CHEN responded, “Okay.”

 

83. In a call on or about February 21, 2019, CW-1, acting at the direction of law enforcement agents told CHEN that the IRS audit had been completed. The following is an excerpt from the conversation, which was consensually recorded.

CW-1 I wanted to call you ’cause I called you before about our audit—

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 --and I wanted to let you know that our audit is over.

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 We’re all okay. And we are okay because, so you, you’re not, no issues with you. So, nobody will be contacting you, okay?

 

CHEN Okay.

 

CW-1 Because you’re-- the payment that you made, we created a fake consulting invoice that you paid that, instead of making a donation to our foundation.

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 So there was no link, for the audit in our foundation, because we-- you paid the $75,000 to my for-profit company—

 

CHEN Uh-huh

 

CW-1 --with a fake, with a fake consulting invoice. So that’s-- that’s why we’re clear.

 

CHEN Oh-huh, okay.

 

CW-1 And then, the other thing is, they asked a question about [CW-2], who took the test for [your son], and Igor, who was the site coordinator, how come I paid them from the foundation at the same time that [your son] was taking the test—

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 --and since you paid the for-profit company the $75,000, there was no payment for the-- as a donation.

 

CHEN Uh-huh.

 

CW-1 And I think that we are past that. So that we both agree that [CW-2] took the test for [your son], right?

 

CHEN Yeah.

 

CW-1 And so everything should be fine, so I just wanted to make sure that you’re okay to know that the audit is over, and we should be in good shape.

 

CHEN Oh, okay, sounds good.

E. ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ and MANUEL HENRIQUEZ

84. Defendants ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ and MANUEL HENRIQUEZ, a married couple (together, the “HENRIQUEZES”), are residents of Atherton, California. MANUEL HENRIQUEZ is the founder, chairman, and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company based in Palo Alto, California.

 

85. As set forth below, the HENRIQUEZES participated in the college entrance exam cheating scheme, on four separate occasions, for their two daughters. In addition, the HENRIQUEZES conspired to bribe Gordon Ernst, the head tennis coach at Georgetown University, to designate their older daughter as a tennis recruit in order to facilitate her admission to Georgetown.

 

86. In or about the fall of 2015, the HENRIQUEZES paid CW-1 $25,000 to have CW-2 purport to proctor their older daughter’s SAT exam and correct her answers.

 

87. On or about August 19, 2015, CW-1 e-mailed CW-2 a round-trip plane ticket from Tampa, Florida to San Francisco, California. CW-1 forwarded the ticket receipt to Steven Masera, his bookkeeper, with the instruction to bill the ticket to the “Henriquez account.”

88. At or about the same time, CW-1 made arrangements for CW-2 to serve as an exam proctor at the private college preparatory school in Belmont, California, attended by the HENRIQUEZES’ daughter. On or about September 19, 2015, CW-1 e-mailed CW-2: “You are going to receive an e-mail from the [high school guidance] counselor to tell you what to do with materials, et cetera ... before responding to her let me know so we can say the right thing.”

 

89. In a series of e-mails in late September 2015, CW-2 explained to the HENRIQUEZES’ daughter’s high school counselor, in sum and substance, that he was willing to fly from Tampa to San Francisco to proctor the exam “because my wife has a new-born,” noting, “I would really appreciate the opportunity to proctor the test because I’m applying to grad schools and I could quite frankly use the work.” The counselor responded, “I have you set up to

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Ernst has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Massachusetts on a charge of racketeering conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d).

Masera has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Massachusetts on a charge of racketeering conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d).

proctor and read for [the HENRIQUEZES’ daughter] this coming Saturday, October 3rd at 8:00 a.m.” CW-2 forwarded the e-mail to CW-1, who forwarded it to ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ with the note, “[CW-2] has the testing covered.”

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90. On or about September 28, 2015, CW-1 directed Masera to bill the “parents 15k that is to be written to [CW-1] and goes to my home or personal account. 10k to The Key for Testing Support.”

 

91. On or about October 2, 2015, CW-2 flew to San Francisco. That same day, ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ e-mailed CW-2 directly to “touch base regarding Saturday am plans.” She arranged to meet CW-2 at her daughter’s high school at 7:15 a.m. the next day.

 

92. On or about October 3, 2015, CW-2 purported to proctor the exam for the HENRIQUEZES’ daughter at her school. According to CW-2, unbeknownst to the school, he sat side-by-side with the daughter during the exam and provided her with answers to the exam questions, and after the exam, he “gloated” with ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ and her daughter about the fact that they had cheated and gotten away with it.

 

93. On or about October 20, 2015, CW-1 sent an e-mail instructing Masera to bill $25,000 to the HENRIQUEZES, with $15,000 directed into CW-1’s personal account. On November 18, 2015, with the invoices still unpaid, CW-1 e-mailed ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ to inquire about the status of payment. ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ responded: “Manuel set up electronic checks when we first received the invoices. I will check with him.”

94. On or about November 24, 2015, the Henriquez Family Trust wired $15,000 to CW-1’s personal bank account and $10,000 to an account in the name of The Key. After receiving the funds, CW-1 caused KWF to pay CW-2 a total of $10,000 in three separates installments.

 

95. The HENRIQUEZES’ daughter received a score of 1900 out of a possible 2400 on the October 2015 test, an improvement of 320 points over the best score she had previously achieved taking the test legitimately.

 

96. Thereafter, the HENRIQUEZES agreed with CW-1 to have CW-2 purport to proctor their younger daughter’s ACT exam at the Houston Test Center.

 

97. On or about August 10, 2016, the HENRIQUEZES’ younger daughter received a letter from ACT, Inc. notifying her that her request for “extra time” on the exam had been granted. 98. On or about September 13, 2016, ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ e-mailed a counselor at her daughter’s high school falsely stating, in substance, that her daughter wanted to take the ACT on October 22, 2016, but that “we have to be in Houston” on that date. The e-mail continued: “Through connections there, we have been able to secure a site and a proctor to test [my daughter] for the two days.” The counselor responded, “No worries – thank you for letting me know.” ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ forwarded the e-mail exchange to CW-1.

99. CW-2 flew from Tampa to Houston for the exam, which occurred on or about October 22, 2016. CW-2 purported to proctor the exam for the HENRIQUEZES’ daughter and another student. CW-2 has advised law enforcement agents, in substance, that he discussed the answers during the exam with the two students, but directed them each to answer different questions incorrectly in an effort to conceal their cheating from ACT, Inc.

 

100. The younger HENRIQUEZ daughter ultimately received a score of 30 out of a possible 36 on the exam. On or about October 24, 2016, CW-1 paid $50,000 to Martin Fox, who introduced CW-1 to Niki Williams, the administrator of the Houston Test Center. CW-1 has advised law enforcement agents that his understanding was that part of this money would be used to pay Williams. On or about October 31, 2016, CW-1 paid CW-2 $20,000.

 

101. CW-1 initially e-mailed Masera instructions to invoice MANUEL HENRIQUEZ and another parent $75,000 each for the ACT scheme. CW-1 has advised law enforcement agents, however, that in lieu of paying for the cheating, MANUEL HENRIQUEZ agreed to use his influence at Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts—where he is an alumnus and former member of the Northeastern University Corporation, one of the university’s governing bodies—to help CW-1 secure the admission of an applicant to that school.

 

102. In an e-mail exchange on or about October 20, 2016, CW-1 sent MANUEL HENRIQUEZ a copy of the Northeastern applicant’s college entrance exam scores and application. MANUEL HENRIQUEZ responded, “Thank you and I will reach out Monday.” Two days later, CW-1 e-mailed Masera instructions not to invoice MANUEL HENRIQUEZ, noting: “There will be a hold on Henriquez. I am doing a deal with them – tell you soon.”

 

103. On or about October 26, 2016, in an e-mail to a senior development officer at Northeastern University, MANUEL HENRIQUEZ described the Northeastern applicant as an “excellent candidate for the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.” MANUEL HENRIQUEZ then e-mailed CW-1: “Just confirmed with the university, have [the applicant] file [early decision] normal channels to get into the systems and make sure his application is complete. Then the folks I connected will flag it.”

104. On or about November 1, 2016, MANUEL HENRIQUEZ met with the applicant in Atherton, California, and thereafter relayed details about the meeting to his contact at Northeastern. MANUEL HENRIQUEZ then followed up with CW-1: “I liked him very much, and just informed the school according[ly]. It is now in their hands, and they understand he is looking for [early decision], and I will reinforce early next week.”

 

105. MANUEL HENRIQUEZ repeatedly followed up with Northeastern officials in Boston about the applicant’s candidacy. The student was ultimately admitted to Northeastern. The applicant’s parents paid CW-1 $250,000 after he was admitted.

 

106. According to CW-1, in or about 2017, CW-1 met with the HENRIQUEZES at their home, where they paid him between $25,000 and $30,000 in cash to arrange for a third party (“Proctor 2”) to facilitate cheating on three SAT subject tests and the ACT for their younger daughter.

 

107. On or about April 24, 2017, CW-1 e-mailed Proctor 2: “I have an opportunity over two days over two weeks for you in June. If interested please call me.”

 

108. In or about May 2017, CW-1 exchanged multiple e-mails with Dvorskiy about moving the HENRIQUEZES’ younger daughter’s SAT subject tests and ACT to the West Hollywood Test Center. ELIZABETH HENRIQUEZ e-mailed CW-1 that she would give her daughter’s school a “heads up re test center change.”

 

109. CW-1 purchased tickets for Proctor 2 to fly from San Jose, California to Los Angeles for the exam on or about June 2, 2017, and to return to San Jose the next day.

110. The HENRIQUEZES’ daughter took the SAT subject tests at the West Hollywood Test Center, with Proctor 2 purporting to proctor the exams. As set forth below, Proctor 2 later told CW-1 that he provided her with answers to certain exam questions.

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CW-1 and CW-2 have advised law enforcement agents that CW-1 relied on Proctor 2 for the exam because CW-2 was already purporting to proctor exams for two other students at the same time, and because Proctor 2 was less expensive than CW-2.

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