Parent says $6.5 million was a donation, not a payoff to get daughter into Stanford

Yusi “Molly” Zhao. Youtube.

By the Daily Post staff

The mother of a Chinese student who was admitted to Stanford with fake sailing credentials said the family’s $6.5 million payment to admitted admissions fraudster Rick Singer was meant as a donation to the university, not a payoff, CNN reports.

In a statement from her attorney, Vincent Law, the mother of Yusi “Molly” Zhao, said that she paid the millions to Singer’s foundation for “the salaries of academic staff, scholarships, athletics programs and helping those students who otherwise
will not be able to afford to attend Stanford.”

Zhao’s mother said she hired Singer for college consulting services because she was unfamiliar with U.S. college admissions. She felt misled after learning that Singer didn’t give the money to Stanford, she said through her attorney.

“Since the matters concerning Mr. Singer and his foundation have been widely reported, Mrs. Zhao has come to realize she has been misled, her generosity has been taken advantage of and her daughter has fallen victim to the scam,” Law said in a statement.

The Zhaos were introduced to Singer by Michael Wu, a former Morgan Stanley adviser.

“Singer, in an effort to line his own pockets with millions of dollars from a Morgan Stanley client, stated in an email, before any payment was made, that the money would be paid to Stanford University ‘to endow staff salaries and scholarships’ and ‘to fund athletics special programs and the university’s underserved outreach programs to help the needy to afford to attend Stanford,’” Wu said in a statement through his attorney.

Zhao is the daughter of billionaire Zhao Tao, chairman of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals, according to the Stanford Daily.

Stanford officials have said the university did not get millions of dollars from Singer and was not aware of the payment from the family to Singer.

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