Minor updates on college admissions scandal.

March 29, 2020, 4:01 pm

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Not a lot of developments on the college admissions fiasco in the last several weeks. Two more sentencing hearings are scheduled over the next two weeks.

Some updates:

3/26/20 – New York Post – Lori Loughlin, college admissions scandal parents urge judge to drop charges. Read the rest of this entry »

When will this mess from the pandemic be over? Focus on the idea that it will end, not what that date will be.

March 25, 2020, 11:35 am

We will prevail. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

When will we be done with this stay-at-home restriction?

When will the economy recover?

When will we be back to “normal?”


I don’t know the dates for any of those transitions.

I have a suggestion for you.


Don’t set a specific date in your mind. Instead firmly set in your mind that this mess will end, we will get through it, we will survive, and we will thrive at the end.

What is the danger of setting a date in your mind and having faith it will be over on that date?

Let me introduce you to the Stockdale paradox.

Admiral James Stockdale was an American pilot shot down during the Vietnam war. He was a prisoner in North Vietnam for 7 1/2 years, routinely subject to brutal torture, legs broken twice during interrogation, and held in solitary confinement during four of those years with his legs locked in a metal stock each night. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor a few years after his release.

I think we should listen to him. His physical courage and moral courage are a role model for all of us.

For one explanation of the phenomenon he described check out article titled The Stockdale Paradox.


Who did not come home from captivity?

Read the rest of this entry »

Pondering impact of coronavirus prevention steps on a charity’s financial statements. An auditor’s perspective.

March 14, 2020, 9:50 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If you are on the finance team of a not-for-profit organization and have a December 31 year end, you are likely working with your CPA on the annual financial statements. Or, you may have just released your financials to lenders and donors.

If so, very soon your CPA may be having an uncomfortable conversation about what we CPAs call ‘subsequent events.’ Those are things that happen after the end of the year and are so significant that the events might need to be disclosed in the financial statements.

In the last week or so, major sectors of the U.S. economy have been shut down for the immediate future.  These actions will have a radical impact on certain industries and a mere dramatic impact on other industries. There may be direct impact on many charities, (such as performing arts companies, or conference centers). There will likely be indirect ripple effects on lots more charities.

To help you ponder the possible impact on your organization, read the following comments. The discussion is focused on other industries, but consider whether the broad trend might affect your charity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap of sentences handed down in college admissions scandal as of 3/12/20.

March 12, 2020, 7:00 am

Metropolitan Correction Center San Diego. Photo by James Ulvog.

Currently, fifteen parents have been sentenced in the “Varsity Blue” college admissions scandal. I’ve noticed two coaches who have been sentenced.

Following is a list of the sentencing results for those individuals.  I’ve published this list before. Will continue to post updates as more sentences are handed down.

The status listed at the Bureau of Prison’s inmate locator database is added for all of those sentenced.

Previous sentencing

Non-parent #2- 3/2/20 – Michael Center, tennis coach at UT AustinSix months in prison, $60,000 fine, and one year supervised release. The coach accepted bribes of $60K personally and $40K to the tennis program in return for helping a student who didn’t play tennis get admitted as a tennis athlete.  Parent paid $631,564 to the organizer of this whole scheme in return for the faked admission. Name of parent is not mentioned in this article.

3/12/20 status – Inmate 28214-480 is listed at the Bureau of Prison’s website as not in custody.

#15 – 2/26/20 – Michelle JanavsFive months in prison, $250,000 fine, and two years supervised release. She paid $100K to fix ACT answers for two children, $50K to a USC coach, and was arrested before paying a remaining balance of $150K. Prosecutors requested 21 months.

The judge was going to sentence her to 12 months but gave her a 7 month discount because of her charitable work. She draws $100,000 a month from the family trust funded by the entrepreneurial efforts of her father (inventor of “Hot Pockets” sandwiches). Giving away some portion of her inherited wealth got her a reduced sentence.

3/11/20 status – Inmate 77816-112 is not in custody.

#14 – 2/7/20 – Douglas Hodge – Nine months in prison, $750,000 fine. 500 hours of community service. Paid $850,000 to get four of his seven children into college. Two went to Georgetown as fake tennis players, two to USC, one as pretend soccer player and another as fake football player. He was working to get a fifth child into Loyola Marymount for which the feds claim he offered to pay $200K for admission to Loyola Marymount, which claim Mr. Hodge denied. Has been buying his kids way into college since 2008.

Update:  WSJ article says judge was going to issue a 12 month sentence but reduced it to 9 months because of his previous philanthropic efforts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two more sentences handed down in the college admissions scandal. New disclosures disrupt sentencing and might alter trial strategy.

March 11, 2020, 9:43 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

New disclosures of communication between the scandal’s ringleader and his attorney are causing commotion in the trials and sentencing.

One more parent and one athletic coach have been sentenced.

Next post will provide a recap of status for each sentenced individual. Those summaries will include current confinement status as posted at the Bureau of Prison’s website.

New disclosures

2/27/20 – Wall Street Journal – College-Admissions Trials to Begin in October Even As Battle Brews Over New Evidence.  First round of trials will be in October 2020 and the second round starting in January 2021.  Lori Laughlin and her husband will be in the first group.

A new spat between the feds and defense attorneys is focused on about 300 pages of notes made by the key player in the fiasco which were turned over to the various defense teams this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Deserter from U.S. Air Force in 1983 was convicted at general court-martial, dismissed from service, and spent a short time in prison.

March 4, 2020, 7:17 am

William Howard Hughes, Jr. (U.S. Air Force photo)


William H. Hughes, Jr., also known as Barry “Tim” O’Beirne deserted from the U.S. Air Force in 1983. He was found in 2018, arrested, tried by a general court martial, then convicted on September 5, 2018. He was dismissed from service and given a reprimand. He also spent 45 days in prison.

On October 8, 2019 the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction.

At the end of this post, I’ll ponder the severity of the sentence.

The disgraced former-officer, now-felon is William H. Hughes, Jr.

He had been hiding for 35 years under the assumed name of Barry “Tim” O’Beirne.

Previous post provides more detail on Deserter from the U.S. Air Force apprehended and tried.

Read the rest of this entry »

Financial fallout from fiascos at Willow Creek Community Church and Harvest Bible Chapel

February 15, 2020, 10:42 am

If you read this blog and haven’t yet tuned in to the disasters at Willow Creek Community Church or Harvest Bible Chapel, it would be worth your time to do so. It is painful to read of the fiascos in those high profile churches, but those of us working in or serving the Christian community need to pay attention and learn.

Bill Hybels resigned from Willow Creek in April 2018.

James MacDonald was released from Harvest in February 2019.

There has been a lot of coverage of both situations. Because there is so much here to learn, I want to write about both situations. To this point, I’ve only written a few twitter comments pointing to some of the coverage.

An article on 2/13/20 in Christianity Today provides some information from the ripple effects on finances and attendance: Willow Creek and Harvest Struggle to Move On / The departures of Bill Hybels and James MacDonald leave churches waiting for new leadership and hoping to rebuild trust.

I will try something new for this post. Following discussion was first written for Twitter. Will try bringing that into a blog post. Let’s see how it works. My comments on Twitter:

Read the rest of this entry »