Taft Client Avoids Prison Time for Role in ‘Varsity Blues’ Scheme

On May 13, a federal judge ruled that Taft client Steven Masera would not serve prison time for his role in the ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scheme. Masera had served as accountant for William “Rick” Singer’s business entity and nonprofit.

While Masera had admitted to laundering $21 million in illicit funds, he did not profit nor participate in the test cheating or “side door” admissions scheme for his children. Masera pled guilty in 2019 to a charge of racketeering conspiracy in Boston federal court, cooperated with the government’s investigation, and was granted immunity.

Masera was sentenced to time already served, ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, and will remain on three years’ supervised release. 

Others convicted in the sweeping ‘Varsity Blues’ case have received sentences ranging from probation to 15 months behind bars. Singer has not yet been sentenced.

Masera was represented by Taft Columbus attorneys David Thomas and Kathryn Wallrabenstein.

“We are pleased with the outcome and our ability to bring this matter to a successful resolution for Mr. Masera,” said Thomas.  

Thomas is a partner in Taft’s Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense practice. He advises and represents companies, executives, public officials, and other professionals who are the subject of state and federal investigations and prosecutions. Thomas is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has tried cases before juries in state and federal courts in matters ranging from aggravated murder to corporate fraud and federal conspiracy.

Wallrabenstein is a senior associate in Taft’s Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense practice. She represents individuals and entities who are being prosecuted in state and federal courts, as well as individuals and entities who are involved with government and regulatory investigations.

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