Canada News

Indo-Canadian businessman stripped off top award for admission fraud

June 13, 2020 11:38 AM

VANCOUVER: Indo-Canadian businessman and former national football player David Siddo has been stripped off the Order of British Columbia for his links to the US college admissions scandal of 2019.

In the scandal, over 50 people have been charged with paying millions in bribes to get their children admitted into top US institutions.

The 60-year-old Sikh businessman and investment banker pleaded guilty in Boston federal court in March for using bribes to get his two sons admitted into American colleges.

According to the FBI, Sidoo paid $100,000 to the scandal mastermind William Rick Singer to use an imposter to take the standardized test (called SAT) on behalf of his elder son. It facilitated his son's admission into Chapman University.

He paid another $100,000 for the admission of his younger son. He also paid imposters to write local British Columbian school exams for his sons.

Sidoo, who is yet to be sentenced for the fraud, has reportedly reached a plea bargain with the US attorney to face 90 days in jail and a fine of $250,000.

His sentencing hearing comes up on July 15.

The Order of British Columbia is the highest award given by British Columbia province in Canada for top achievers in different fields.

With this order, Sidoo has become the first person to be stripped off this award. He has been ordered to return the award insignia immediately.

A celebrated soccer player, Sidoo was the first Indo-Canadian to enter the Canadian Football League. Later, he was inducted into the British Columbia Football Hall of Fame.

To celebrate his achievements, his alma mater - the University of British Columbia in Vancouver - had renamed a stadium David Sidoo Field. But his name was removed from the stadium in March after he pleaded guilty to the fraud.

Sidoo's father was one of the early immigrants from India. He was born in New Westminster which is part of the Vancouver area.

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