Former Stanford University head sailing coach John Vandemoer received one day in prison for his role in the national college admissions scandal. He will also pay a $10,000 fine and have two years of supervised release with six months of home detention with electronic monitoring. Vandemoer is the first person associated with the scam to receive his sentence.
Vandemoer acknowledged accepting $610,000 in bribes to help two prospective students with no sailing experience get into Stanford as sailing recruits, but instead of pocketing the money, he put those funds into his own program.
Prosecutors claim that Vandemoer still benefited from the kickbacks even if he didn't take a single dime, arguing, "While the defendant did not profit financially from his crimes in a directly measurable way ... his actions nonetheless enhanced his own status within the university, gave him more money to use for the sailing program he implemented, and furthered his career."
US district court judge Rya W. Zobel sympathized with Vandemoer, considering him possibly the "least culpable" of those associated with the scandal.
After Vandemoer pleaded guilty in March, prosecutors recommended Vandemoer receive a sentence of 13 months in prison, as well as a year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. They stressed that a strict sentence was necessary because it would send a message to everyone else charged in the "Operation Varsity Blues" case.
The message didn't come across with Vandemoer's sentence, but that doesn't mean everyone else who pleaded guilty will be getting off so easy.