California parent pleads guilty to fraud and bribery in college admissions case

 

Date: June 2, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

BOSTON – A California man pleaded guilty today to using fraud and bribery to facilitate his child's acceptance to Georgetown University announced Kristina O'Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations in Boston.

Peter Dameris of Pacific Palisades, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Oct. 5, 2020.

According to the terms of Dameris' plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of time served, 21 months of home confinement, a fine of $95,000 and restitution.

Dameris agreed with William "Rick" Singer to pay an amount, ultimately totaling $300,000, to Singer's purported charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation ("KWF"), knowing that the money would be used to facilitate Dameris's son's purported recruitment to Georgetown University as a tennis player, even though he did not play tennis competitively. Singer previously pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government's investigation.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The details contained in the court documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted this investigation. The Department of Education, Office of Inspector General provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O'Connell, Leslie A. Wright, Kristen A. Kearney, Stephen E. Frank and Karin M. Bell of Lelling's Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.