College admissions scandal now has a tantalizing mystery

Today, the first set of parents charged in the college admissions scandal will appear in court in Boston, offering our celebrity-obsessed media an opportunity to move along from their two years of obsession over the now discredited Trump-Russia conspiracy theory.  Having discredited themselves by relentlessly pushing an evidence-free conspiracy, they likely now will turn to the story of how the ruling class rigs the system that is supposed to produce a meritocracy justifying their power and influence.

The story already is irresistible on its own, in addition to its potential to change the subject.  But the Los Angeles Times today highlights a huge mystery that prosecutors are keeping under wraps:

Of the many outrageous allegations revealed by federal prosecutors in the college cheating scandal, one stands out.

Someone paid $6.5 million to get his or her children into elite schools.  But the identity of that parent — and details about which schools were involved — remains a mystery nearly two weeks after authorities in Boston filed the charges against dozens of wealthy individuals.

The lack of information about the money is more notable given that the charges go into intense detail about the alleged actions of other parents, who are accused of bribing and cheating to get their kids into schools such as Yale, USC and UCLA.

Prosecutors have mentioned the $6.5 million in payments at a news conference and in court.  But they are not included in the hundreds of pages detailing the charges.

Move over, Six Million Dollar Man, and make way for the 6.5-million-dollar parent.

Sure, the bribes so far revealed have been impressive sums.  But $6.5 mill is in a different league entirely.  That's a fortune that most people could live off of luxuriously for the rest of their lives.  It's lottery jackpot territory — more like an endowment than a mere bribe.  Or the price of a middling building. 

Yale University, one of the top schools already implicated (photo credit: Pixabay).

Speaking for myself, I can't wait to find out who threw around that sum of money for a kid or kids getting into...where?  A sum like that should buy a school more storied than Wake Forest, I would think.  And the sheer size suggests that a Very Important Person was involved, not just the coach of a second-tier sport.

My guess is that prosecutors are still putting together the evidence, still grilling suspects and assembling documents.  But if they are withholding the name of the 6.5-million-dollar parent simply for dramatic purposes, they understand pretty well how to keep a story in the headlines.