Once they bit, he talked about his “connections” from his years as a college basketball coach and how he could make “guarantees.” And if you didn’t do it his way, you’d be screwed. As one Brentwood parent put it, he became like “the guy who everybody wants as a nutritionist, or everybody want to do Pilates with.” Only the stakes were practically life or death—and you had to act fast. Cofounder and CEO of the Summa Group—a specialized division of Oppenheimer that manages $1.5 billion of clients’ personal wealth and offers financial planning advice—Werdesheim was just the sort of aspirational hotshot drawn to Singer.
He served as a key point of entrée for Singer in L. A graduate of USC, Werdesheim had been steadily hitting the marks of success.
He offered legitimate college counseling and eventually, if a parent seemed desperate enough, two options off the cheating menu: the fraudulent testing, or the engagement of one of his dirty college coaches to falsely designate the applicant as an athletic recruit.
A year after hitting Newport Beach, Singer, with his energetic, athletic frame, was storming L. He sold his know-how at financial institutions, where he spoke to rooms full of rich parents. Brian Werdesheim knew a good thing when he saw one.
Guo “wished to make a ‘donation’ to ‘one of those top schools’ for his daughter’s ‘application.’ ” According to Guo’s lawyer, Singer chose Yale, where he had a connection in women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith.
Singer created a fake athletic profile for Guo, claiming that she was cocaptain of a Southern California club soccer team.Described on the Summa website as “a great resource and connection for the Chinese speaking clients of the Summa group,” Yang served as a translator for the father of L. high school student Sherry Guo, who was applying to college and whose parents wanted a sure thing (her parents’ first names have been withheld from the public).In November 2017, Yang emailed Singer, according to prosecutors, saying that Mr.His illicit turn appears to have started 11 years ago in Newport Beach, just south of L.A., where he lived after years spent in Sacramento.Most importantly, like many others, we only used Mr.Singer for his legitimate college counseling services.” Werdesheim later reportedly brought both Singer and Rosenbloom in as minority shareholders in the Welsh football team Swansea. In fall 2017, one of Werdesheim’s employees, Valerie Yang, facilitated one of the whopping payments made to elite institutions by two Chinese families.Though Werdesheim, in a profile, claimed credit for introducing the two men, Rosenbloom clarified in a statement: “[W]e have never been clients of Mr.Werdesheim, and we have had no business relationship with Oppenheimer for over 15 years.the sort to fixate unreasonably on a degree from Georgetown or USC. They were pillars of the community at their children’s private schools.In a world dictated by status symbols, having “a kid at Yale” was the Holy Grail, the ultimate proof of a life worth envying—even if their kid was only interested in plugging products on Instagram. They talked about “doing good” and “giving back.” Their kids were friends with one another on social media, a tribute to their own social significance.