Get ready for college admissions scandals phase II, and maybe III, IV and V.

The reason I think so? Because of the way it was discovered.

Prosecutors didn’t break up the ring of bribing college coaches and exam proctors by using vast computing power, databases and algorithms, but by interviewing somebody. According to multiple reports, a suspect in a securities fraud case had heard about the admissions scamming going on and used it to bargain with federal authorities for more lenient treatment.

One interview led to one new suspect, a college coach, who gave the FBI other suspects, which gave them approval by judges to tap phones, and that brings us to up to today.

There will be more accused because all of those arrested coaches will have lawyers, and all of those arrested will be looking for reduce the chance that they will have to spend years in prison.

Do we really believe that Rick Singer’s ring of bribery of college coaches and exam proctors is the only one of its kind in America? If not, who else would know about the other Rick Singers still in business? Perhaps the coaches who have lost their jobs and are facing charges of accepting bribes.

We wrote in Real Due Diligence Can Never be Mass Produced that proper due diligence about a person, especially someone who will receive security clearance to handle sensitive information, requires interviews. “Think about how much information you can find about yourself on the internet: everyone you’ve ever worked with? Dated? Had an argument with? Those things are gathered not by looking at databases, the web and social media exclusively, but by interviewing.”

In Talk Isn’t Cheap Even When Offline we said, “to find out about people, you nearly always have to talk to others about them. Of course, a lot of what you may hear could turn out to be gossip. But being gossip doesn’t always mean something isn’t true. It can also mean that it’s factual information someone doesn’t want you to know about.”

Interview the coaches, find out who the other Rick singers are, and get to the parents offering bribes through them. Charge, arrest, repeat.

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Photo of Philip Segal Philip Segal

Charles Griffin is headed by Philip Segal, a New York attorney with extensive experience in corporate investigations in the U.S. for AmLaw 100 law firms and Fortune 100 companies. Segal worked previously as a case manager for the James Mintz Group in New York and as North American Partner and General Counsel for GPW, a British business intelligence firm. Prior to becoming an attorney, Segal was the Finance Editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal, and worked as a journalist in five countries over 19 years with a specialization in finance. In 2012, he was named by Lawline as one of the top 40 lawyers furthering legal education.  Segal has also been a guest speaker at Columbia University on investigating complex international financing structures, and taught a seminar on Asian economics as a Freeman Scholar at the University of Indiana.  He is the author of the book, The Art of Fact Investigation: Creative Thinking in the Age of Information Overload (Ignaz Press, 2016). He lectures widely on fact investigation and ethics to bar associations across the United States.