FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 “An Unforgettable Evening” in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

A Canadian is the alleged informant in the U.S. college bribery scandal

Morrie Tobin of Montreal identified by Wall Street Journal as informant who helped expose scheme

Morrie Tobin, the Montreal native named in reports as the central figure who exposed an alleged college admissions scam in the United States, was described Tuesday by those who knew him as someone who stood out for his athleticism and drive.

Tobin, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit securities fraud in an unrelated case, has been identified by the Wall Street Journal as the informant who helped expose the admissions scheme. At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are among those charged in an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

READ MORE: B.C. businessman David Sidoo pleads not guilty in U.S. college bribery case

Clifford Margolese, 55, said he and Tobin were “thick as thieves” when they grew up together in the predominantly Jewish Montreal neighbourhood of Cote St-Luc.

“We played sports, we worked out, we chased girls, we drank beer. We had a good group of close friends,” Margolese said in an interview. “He was the prototypical Cote St-Luc good Jewish kid growing up.”

Now a manager for a building maintenance company in Victoria, Margolese said he had heard about Tobin’s troubles with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prior to last week’s news about the college scandal that continues to grip the United States.

“I understand the position he’s in,” said Margolese, who graduated in 1980 with Tobin from Montreal’s Wagar High School, which closed in 2005. “I think it’s human nature. We would all do the same thing, faced with possible jail. I would think we would all do the same thing to protect our family and to try and generate some leniency.”

The Wall Street Journal described Tobin as a Los Angeles financier who tipped off federal authorities to the admission scandal “hoping for leniency” in his securities fraud case. The newspaper reported that Tobin’s information led to the arrests in the alleged nation-wide college admissions scheme.

College employees, including many coaches, are accused of taking bribes from wealthy parents to get their children into top schools by falsely portraying them as recruited athletes.

U.S. officials say some parents — including people prominent in Hollywood, law, finance, fashion and manufacturing — paid as much as $6.5 million to guarantee their child’s admission into colleges around the country.

— With files The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

ELECTION DAY: Lacombe-Ponoka heads to the polls

Voters came out to the Lacombe Memorial Centre to pick the next MLA of Lacombe-Ponoka

‘Open for business:’ Jason Kenney’s UCP wins majority in Alberta election

The UCP was leading or elected in 63 of 87 seats Tuesday night

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Most Read