Criminal Justice

Former Willkie co-chair's plea deal calls for sentence of up to 14 months in prison

  • Print.

Gordon Caplan. Photo from Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Gordon Caplan, the former co-chairman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, has agreed to a plea deal in the college admissions scandal that calls for a sentence of up to 14 months in prison.

The plea agreement calculates Caplan’s offense level at 11, which imposes a sentence of eight to 14 months in prison for someone with no criminal history, the American Lawyer reports. Caplan is pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

The government will recommend a sentence at the lower end of the range. Prosecutors also agreed to seek a year of supervised release and a $40,000 fine.

The court will do its own sentencing guidelines calculation. Caplan has agreed not to appeal.

Caplan was accused of paying $75,000 to bribe an exam proctor to boost his daughter’s ACT score. He is among 13 parents who agreed to plead guilty in the scandal, according to a press release. Other parents are accused of paying bribes to exam proctors or to college coaches and administrators at elite colleges to classify their children as athletic recruits.

According to the American Lawyer, Caplan’s guidelines score of 11 is in the lower middle end of scores calculated for other parents. The offense levels appear to be tied to amount of the bribes paid.

Among the 13 parents, the lowest bribe paid was $15,000 and the highest was $600,000.

No date has been set for the plea hearing.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.