Beverly Hills Real Estate Developer Who Was Related to College Admissions Cheating Scam Committed Suicide
On Thursday, authorities verified the suicide of a Beverly Hills real estate mogul who had pleaded guilty three years earlier to federal charges related to a countrywide college admissions cheating scam. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, Robert Flaxman, 66, was found dead in his home in the 3200 block of Serra Road on the morning of October 20.
The coroner’s office concluded that his death was a suicide, and the investigation was closed. For his part in the incident, a federal judge in Boston handed down a sentence of one month in prison and one year of supervised release to Flaxman in October 2019. In addition to the $50,000 punishment, he was given a community service requirement of 250 hours.
Flaxman had been charged with mail fraud and honest services mail fraud on the federal level, and he pleaded guilty to both charges earlier that year. Prosecutors claim that beginning in 2016, Flaxman plotted with Newport Beach businessman William “Rick” Singer and others to fraudulently inflate his daughter’s ACT score by having the exam modified.
Flaxman had been linked with a college admissions scandal
Prosecutors claim that Flaxman took part in a conspiracy masterminded by Singer in which the father arranged for his daughter to take the ACT at a test center in Houston, Texas, that Singer controlled through a fraudulent test administrator. Flaxman’s daughter and the child of another Singer client took the ACT on October 22, 2016, with the help of Riddell and another conspirator.
Riddell, who confirmed his role in the program, aided in answering exam questions and encouraged the kids to answer specific questions incorrectly so that the ACT would not suspect cheating. Federal authorities claim that Flaxman’s daughter’s exam score of 28 out of 36 resulted from a cheating plan.
Flaxman gave Singer’s fake organization, Key Worldwide Foundation, $75,000 two days before the exam to cover the cost of the scam. Prosecutors claim that Flaxman defrauded the IRS by claiming a deduction for the bribe money on his tax returns.
Wealthy parents paid Singer thousands of dollars to alter their children’s entrance exam scores, and the ensuing nationwide bribery scandal implicated dozens of parents and college athletic coaches. Other pupils were admitted to prestigious schools under the pretense that they were athletic recruiters, despite their lack of relevant expertise.