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The university admissions expert describes the "multi-billion dollar business" of college application fraud

For those working to prevent college admission fraud, accusations that dozens of powerful people helped their children make their way to elite universities. Not surprising.

Fraudulent applications are actually a "multi-billion dollar business," according to the founder of a company that hopes to stop the practice.

"The reality is that university admissions are very competitive and many times people do something to cross that line and take their children to school," said Emilie Cushman founder and director Executive of Toronto Kira Talent.

His company works with universities such as University of Toronto, McMaster Waterloo and Johns Hopkins. , to try to create an admission process without fraud.

Earlier this week, 50 people were charged in the US US, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, for allegedly paying millions in bribes, hiring stand-ins for

"It's a big problem", Cushman told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC The Early Edition .

"We finally have some headlines around because there were some Lebrities involved, but it's definitely not a new problem," Cushman said.

Philanthropists, actors, lawyers, accused trainers

The list of defendants includes David Sidoo, a prominent philanthropist from Vancouver in the UBC athletics program, as well as influential actors, lawyers and coaches.

Sidoo is accused of paying $ 200,000 for someone to take the SAT exams of his children in 2011 and 2012.

Court documents say that a person Sidoo allegedly hired took the exam in Vancouver and received strict instructions not to score "too high", so the score would be credible.

David Sidoo, a businessman based in Vancouver, philanthropist and notable student of the University of British Columbia, has been accused of conspiracy to commit fraud. (

Paying that amount of money is an extreme example, Cushman said, but hiring someone to help with the admission process is not unusual.

"There are low-end consultants who could charge only a couple of hundred dollars and then there are the high-end consultants who are being hired by the richest families," he said.

"It's a billion-dollar business."

'Impeccable fraud'

The help students get from training during the application process helps to write better essays for contracting stand-ins for exams.

"A few years ago, we actually did a little experiment where we hired an admissions advisor," Cushman said.

"It was interesting because they really know you, they interviewed you, they know your writing style, they know who you are as a person, so the fraud is impeccable."

Cushman is pushing for schools to change their application processes and build on the results of the tests sent and the trials.

"That's not getting the full story anymore," he said.

"Schools need to adapt and they must start adopting a technology that can help catch these things and provide them with a more holistic process [application]."

For those who work to prevent college admission fraud, accusations that dozens of powerful people helped their children cheat to enter the elite of the American university They are not surprising: fraudulent applications are a "multi-billion dollar business". 8:42

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