Marjorie Klapper, a 51-year-old mother from California who falsely claimed her son was Black to increase his chances of getting into a top college, was sentenced to only 3 weeks behind bars.
Klapper, an entrepreneur, was accused of paying $15,000 to falsify her son’s ACT exam score. She also agreed to have her son pretend as a racial minority and a first-generation student on his applications even though she and her husband are both college graduates.
Prosecutors initially recommended she be sentenced to four months imprisonment and a fine of $20,000, claiming that lying about her son’s race “increased the likelihood that her fraud would come at the expense of an actual minority candidate.”
“Ms. Klapper thereby not only corrupted the standardized testing system, but also specifically victimized the real minority applicants already fighting for admission to elite schools,” US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement.
However, Klapper’s attorneys claim that she was not aware of the scheme and it was college prep adviser William “Rick” Singer who fabricated it. They said she only agreed because she wanted her son, who had learning disabilities, to feel like a “regular” student.
“Mrs. Klapper’s motives were maternal but her execution misguided and illegal,” her lawyers wrote.
Klapper was sentenced to 3 weeks imprisonment in connection to the scheme. She was also ordered to pay $9,500 fine and undergo 250 hours of community service.
Klapper is the 9th parent to be sentenced in the “Operation Varsity Blues” case, which also involved actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin.