The man who made $25 million illicitly getting kids into elite colleges — and then flipped on their parents to the FBI — now lives a life of pickleball and Peloton at a Florida trailer park.
You’ll probably recall the 2019 “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal. (The Netflix dramatization of this is shown above — Matthew Modine was not involved with the scandal, but he played the role of the mastermind William Singer.) But plenty of household names were involved, and funneled bribes totaling an estimated $25 million through Singer’s “charity” to get their kids into prestigious schools like Stanford and Yale: Full House star Lori Loughlin, Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman, several notable wine country vintners, and for good measure, the heiress to the Hot Pockets fortune.
Most of those folks have been sentenced, and have already completed their brief stints at country club-style minimum security prisons. But Singer, who now goes by his middle name “Rick," has not. He’ll be sentenced September 15, but the Bay Area News Group tracked him down and found him in St. Petersburg, Florida, now living in the Isle of Palms mobile home park.
According to the news group, Singer is “spending his final months before sentencing playing Rummikub in the ‘Harmony Hall’ clubhouse, loaning out paddle boards on the beaches, and attempting, in surprising ways, to win over this suspicious group of senior citizens who recognized his face from the stack of magazines they read at their doctors’ appointments when the scandal first broke.”
“Why he’s living in a little crappy old motorhome, I have no idea,” neighbor Barbara West told the Bay Area News Group. “It’s the dullest mobile home park in the whole country. That’s probably why he picked it.”
Singer himself has little to say in the article, likely because he’s hoping for the most lenient sentence possible (he did flip on his clients and turn evidence against them, cooperating with the FBI). Most of his remarks are along the lines of “I’m just trying to help the world.”
But the news group’s long and amusing read has plenty of remarks from Singer’s new neighbors. Most are supportive, some are not.
“I even complained a couple months ago – again – because I just realized that it was hogging up two [parking] spaces,” one neighbor complained of Singer's Mercedes van. “Well, he’s not supposed to have vehicles like that.”
Others found it a little suspect that Singer was interested in getting involved with helping Isle of Palms manage its finances.
“I’ve got alarm bells going off in my head that I don’t want him anywhere near the money, because this is money that has been saved by people in the park for over a decade,” another neighbor told the Bay Area News Group. “I thought, ‘Oh, good God. Got a Ponzi scheme we might be interested in?’”
Singer of course did not comment on the specifics of the case. But one neighbor said that Singer had intimated to him, regarding his sentencing coming up in a month and a half, that he felt it was “gonna be pretty light.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Loughlin has launched her reputation rehab effort, having just made her first TV appearance since the scandal over the weekend as part of a celebrity fundraiser for Project Angel Food, an LA-based food charity she's been doing volunteer work for.