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March 14, 2019, 9:16 p.m. EDT

Tipster who alerted feds to college-admissions scheme was dad seeking leniency in securities fraud case

Father said Yale coach had sought bribe for daughter’s admission

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By Jennifer Levitz and Melissa Korn


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The Yale University campus in New Haven, Conn.

The tipster who led federal authorities to the biggest college-admissions scam they have ever prosecuted was Morrie Tobin, a Los Angeles financial executive who was being investigated in a securities fraud case, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Tobin was being questioned in an alleged pump-and-dump investment scheme — in which people conspire to inflate the price of a stock so they can sell it at a profit — when he offered a tip to federal authorities in an effort to obtain leniency, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tobin, who attended Yale University, told investigators that the head women’s soccer coach at Yale had sought a bribe in return for getting his daughter into the Ivy League school, a person familiar with the investigation said.

Read: The college admissions scandal reveals the cost of bribing your way into Yale: $1.2 million

That tip led investigators to unravel a wide-ranging scheme in which dozens of wealthy parents allegedly paid a college consultant to facilitate cheating on entrance exams and falsifying student athletic profiles. It also involved allegedly bribing coaches at schools including the University of Southern California, Georgetown University and Stanford University to take their children on as recruited athletes, a near guaranteed way of being accepted.

Tobin wasn’t charged in relation to the alleged college-admissions scheme. He is awaiting sentencing in the securities fraud case in which he signed a plea agreement in November.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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