Developer With Arizona Connections Charged In College Cheating Scandal

A West Coast developer with ties to Arizona has been charged in the highly publicized college bribery scandal that has indicted celebrities and other wealthy parents.

Robert Flaxman of Crown Realty and Development who developed the Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley and the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale, has been accused by the federal government of paying $350,000 so his son would be admitted to the University of San Diego. In addition, there is speculation that the payment also assisted in his daughter scoring better on a college entrance exam.

The FBI has released court documents that show in 2016 Flaxman participated in both the college recruitment scheme and the college entrance exam scheme.

Flaxman’s Arizona connection continues. His company recently acquired the rights to develop in north Phoenix’s Desert Ridge master-planned community for $54 million.

The document states that on May 13, 2016 and June 23, 2016, Flaxman’s company wired two payments of $125,000 apiece to Key Worldwide Financial.

Flaxman’s son gained admittance to a private school.

Among the accused, 50 people have been indicted, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Their charges consist of conspiracy to commit fraud and honest services mail fraud, paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

The mastermind in the scheme is consultant William Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network. He allegedly made up profiles for the students to improve their chances of admission.

Singer is also being accused of hiring ringers to take college entrance exams for students, and there is also evidence that he paid off insiders at testing centers to alter students’ answers, resulting in better scores.

Authorities are calling it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

The parents focus was determined to get their children into elite schools such as Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, UCLA, University of Southern California.

Neither Arizona State University or the University of Arizona were among the school choices.

In documented email, Loughlin’s husband, clothing line founder Mossimo Giannulli, wrote to the recruiter stating that he wanted to make sure they “have a road map for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!”