2 Wealthy San Diegans Charged in Elite College Admission Bribery Scandal

by on March 13, 2019 · 7 comments

in Education, San Diego

Elisabeth Kimmel was arrested Tuesday.

Two wealthy San Diegans have been charged in the elite college admission bribery scandal that is rocking the country’s academia community.

One is Elisabeth Kimmel, former owner of KFMB-TV, San Diego’s CBS affiliate, who was arrested Tuesday at her La Jolla home. The other is Toby MacFarlane, a businessman from Del Mar and a former executive of a title insurance company.

From 7SanDiego:

Kimmel is accused of participating in an illegal conspiracy to get her daughter into Georgetown University and her son into USC.

Her daughter’s application to Georgetown stated that she was a “ranked player” in Southern California Junior Tennis during high school, according to the criminal complaint (pages 143-153). But prosecutors said the U.S. Tennis Association, which operates the Junior Tennis program, has no record of the daughter’s participation in that elite program.

Toby MacFarlane was arrested and made a court appearance; he was released on his own recognizance.

And on the other accused briber:

According to the complaint, MacFarlane’s daughter graduated from USC in 2018 without playing soccer for the university. MacFarlane’s son was admitted to USC as a student athlete in 2017. As part of his application, prosecutors allege an online profile was created describing the teenager as a 6-foot-1 basketball player when the student was actually 5-feet, 5-inches tall. He withdrew from the university in May 2018 without playing basketball for the university.

The complaint alleges that MacFarlane paid $200,000 to facilitate his daughter’s acceptance by USC, and $250,000 to secure his son’s admission to the private university.

For the full article, please go here.

Here is CBS8‘s version.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist March 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm

yep, the respect bar heads to a new low. How do these people sleep at night?! Its also galling that charges are not yet being extended to any of the students….whaat? These students are over 18 and are at least smart enough to know whether they are athletes or not, regardless of whether they were aware of their parents gaming the system with $- they were fraudulently profiling themselves. I hope at the very least, they will be required to vacate their spots and finish their degrees somewhere else on their own merits.
Is there anything left that hasn’t been corrupted by money and entitlement? What a disgrace! :(


Vern March 13, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Their attorneys will get them all a hall pass.
Except, of course, for those with out the funds for extended legal defense like the coaches and such. They’ll go straight to the klink after a brief trial.


retired botanist March 13, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Vern, ya know? You are so right. Once again, money will talk and walk. The travesty of our justice system has never been as obscenely displayed as it has this last month. Between the legal brokering that this scandal will produce- clearly no one’s going to jail- to Cohen’s 3 yr sentencing, then to the absurd statement of Manafort, a convicted felon, asking if “he can be together with his wife”! Who else would ask that?!
And that includes judges who decide that somehow the swindling of millions and millions of dollars from taxpayers, or let’s just use a broad brush and say ‘white collar crime’ is somehow not as serious or threatening to our safety as a drug dealer on the corner! Really? Omg, I would much prefer the individual on the corner, whose livelihood I can see and avoid, to the individual who is a lawyer whose livelihood I obviously CAN’T see and, as a taxpayer, clearly can’t avoid!
If the Trump administration doesn’t incite a civil revolution, the corruption of our legal system should!


Vern March 14, 2019 at 7:07 am

Heck of a thing rb.
Juxtapose all that with video of six or eight police officers, all in combat gear, surrounding a “suspect” who’s already been pinned to the ground and four officers who are violently digging in a suspect’s mouth to extract a piece of contraband measuring just 8mm x 8mm. Run the cost card on that and the ROI will be quite unsurprising.
This is all about privilege and an American caste system.


sealintheSelkirks March 15, 2019 at 8:21 pm

What is wrong with these two? How do they sleep at night? HA! Are you making a funny, retired botanist?

Two wealthy (I’m assuming that from La Jolla & Del Mar addresses) members of the economic somewhat upper crust were trying to do on the CHEAP what one would assume a probable majority of those in their income bracket and above also does (just my best guess) in all sorts of different ways unavailable to those of…less financial means. It costs big bucks to buy low SAT test scores children’s place into top tier universities.

The lower economic class kids go to community college. If their lucky. Of course their test scores to get even that far depends on how badly their public school has had its budgets slashed over the decades. Low budgets means less education and the income brackets of the people who cut the education budgets are what?

These two’s big mistake was instead of ‘endowing a chair’ for a million or two, or building a new business building, or dumping funding into some other university program using a philanthropic front group, they were being stingy with their money trying to get more bang with less bucks. Why didn’t they get together and start the ‘Kimmel/McFarlane Endowment for _______’ and avoid all this embarrassment? I mean, hell, how much did it cost the Bush Family to have W Bush accepted to Yale, hmmmm? And after hearing him try to string sentences together for 8 years, does anybody else wonder much the surcharge cost to get the school to graduate him???

Yeah Vern, they’ll likely both get the charges knocked down, way down. And their hands slapped. Like Manafort. Like Cohen. There are still people in prison doing life for pot in this country…

The ruling class aren’t necessarily the smartest people on the block, they just have enough money and connections to the other segments of the ruling class to get out of most of what they screw up. After all, those in power certainly don’t want to set any precedence of harsh treatment of their not-so-lucky peers in case they find themselves in the same predicament. I think that could be construed as blowback, yes?

The majority of us don’t have that option but then if we all did this system of entitlement wouldn’t work! We have an Aristocracy in this country. Always have had as the Founding Fathers most definitely were in that social class. But isn’t it ironic when just a tiny little corner of the thin veneer of respectability gets peeled away for a second or two?

Off subject but on a happier note, Bolivia just rolled out Free Universal Health Care for their citizens. “Tell us where we have problems,” President Morales said, calling for social participation to improve the SUS so as to assure a permanent success. At least there are some people in this world doing the right thing!


Vern March 19, 2019 at 11:10 am

Only one top banker went to jail for the financial crisis.


retired botanist March 16, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Yeah, Seal, it was sort of a rhetorical question…and probably a lot them sleep well at night b/c they have expensive doctors who prescribe legal, “non-drugs” (?!) for them to do so. But then Pharma (and its lobby) is a whole other topic, isn’t it?

One of the sidebars that really galls me, and extends way beyond this particularly disgusting example of bad parenting, bad example-setting, and especially egregious “in-your-face” entitlement, is the whole ‘give to charity and get a tax deduction” loophole, which has been part of our tax law for decades. Excuse me, but if one wants to make a charitable donation, whether its to a church, medical research or your alma mater, why get a tax break?! As someone who is a taxpayer, I am the govt in this regard, and that penalizes me every single time, since I have never been in an income bracket to take deductions or make such charitable “contributions”, other than a fiver to the man on the street, my Goodwill recycling (for which I never take a receipt- why would I?), or $20 to Greenpeace or other non-profits I might choose to support.

What I hear back is “Well, if people didn’t get a tax break, they wouldn’t make the donation, and that would hurt those organizations”. Whaaat?! You mean a gift is only good if you get something in return? Ugh. Where’s the conscientiousness in THAT?!
Since this is the tax time of year, I think this point is especially relevant. If one has the resources, and the goodwill, to be able to give to charities, then do so outright and expect nothing in return, other than a good night’s sleep :-). And seriously, if one thinks philanthropy is such a noble thing, think a little harder- it isn’t as noble as it sounds.

But as a culture that is driven by “Can I?” instead of “Should I?” this will probably never change. Now we let the legal system tell us what is ethical, and in the process have completely relinquished our moral compass.

Finally, maybe its too bad (altho I don’t think so, karma is karma) these 40 some-odd people have ended up as the poster rats for, as you say, a much much bigger problem, but so be it. They made their bed, and their kids’ beds, so lie in it. I expect their kids are not thanking them, but then they probably haven’t learned that, either, so nothing new there. :(


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