A Newport Beach woman will plead guilty to charges filed this week in Massachusetts federal court alleging that she paid to have an employee of a for-profit college counseling business take online classes for her son so he could graduate from Georgetown University, prosecutors said.
Karen Littlefair, 57, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud no later than Jan. 17. Authorities will recommend a sentence of four months in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $9,500 and restitution, according to the plea agreement filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts.
“My client has taken the earliest opportunity to take responsibility for her conduct,” Littlefair’s attorney Kenneth Julian wrote in a prepared statement.
Julian declined to make additional comments.
The Lido Isle resident paid about $9,000 for an employee of William “Rick” Singer’s Newport Beach-company, The Edge College & Career Network to take four online classes in her son’s place, prosecutors said. In May 2018, Littlefair’s son graduated from Georgetown, using academic credits earned by the employee.
Singer has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.
Littlefair joins a group of wealthy Orange County residents who have pleaded guilty to charges related to the college admission scandal. In October, Newport Coast resident Michelle Janavs and Laguna Beach resident Douglas Hodge pleaded guilty in Massachusetts federal court to conspiracy charges for their roles in the college admissions scandal.
In pleading guilty before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton, Hodge copped to paying Singer $525,000 to get two of his children admitted to the University of Southern California through fraudulent athletic recruitment.
Hodge and Janavs are respectively scheduled to appear before Gorton for sentencing on Jan 22 and Feb. 25.
Federal prosecutors targeted 50 people in the college admission scandal, which inspired a Lifetime movie about two wealthy mothers caught in the investigation’s fallout.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts declined to comment for this story.