Greenwich lawyer placed on leave after cheating-scandal accusation

March 13, 2019

GREENWICH — A lawyer from Greenwich accused of taking part in a college-admissions cheating scandal is now facing professional sanctions, as well as federal criminal charges.

Gordon Caplan was named as a participant in a scheme to boost his daughter’s test scores, and now his law firm is placing him on leave.

According to the statement from Willkie Farr & Gallagher released Wednesday, “As widely reported, one of our partners, Gordon Caplan, was among the persons charged in the college admissions matter. This is a personal matter and does not involve Willkie or any of its clients. In light of the seriousness of the matter, Mr. Caplan has been placed on a leave of absence from the Firm and will have no further Firm management responsibilities.”

Caplan did not return requests for comment this week.

Wilkie Farr is a top law firm with offices around the world.

Caplan, and more than 40 other parents named in the scheme Tuesday, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud. Caplan appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York and was released on a $500,000 bond.

Federal prosecutors say Caplan was caught on a wiretap discussing a $75,000 payment to have his daughter’s answers on her ACT test changed.

The cheating scandal centered on William “Rick” Singer, the now-indicted founder of “The Key” - a college prep company.

“I can guarantee her a score. If it’s ACT, I can guarantee her a score in the, in the 30s. And if it’s the SAT, I can guarantee her a score in the 1400s,” Singer told Caplan on a wire-tapped phone call released in the criminal complaint. The two allegedly agreed to a $75,000 payment, according to the federal allegations, which was wired to a fraudulent non-profit run by Singer on the west coast.