Greenwich resident Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of New York City law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, has been placed on leave following revelations that he paid $75,000 to have his daughter’s college test score fixed – part of the same college admissions scandal that ensnared celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.
The firm said that Caplan would have no further management responsibilities at Willkie. Caplan’s biography on the Willkie website has been taken down.
“This is a personal matter and does not involve Willkie or any of its clients,” the firm said. “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. The firm will continue to be managed by its chairmen, Steven Gartner and Thomas Cerabino, and its executive committee. Our focus remains on our responsibilities to our clients, partners and employees.”
Caplan was released on a $500,000 bond following his initial court appearance on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. He is due back in Boston federal court on March 29.
According to court documents, Caplan can be heard on federal wiretaps discussing with William “Rick” Singer, the central figure in the case, the particulars of paying to have his daughter’s test scores adjusted by a test proctor before they were submitted.
A voice identified as Caplan’s can be heard saying: “Keep in mind I am a lawyer”; “I am sort of rules-oriented”; “Doing this with you… there’s no way any trouble comes out of this, nothing like that?”; and “I’m not worried about the moral issue here. I’m worried… if she gets caught, she’s finished.”
Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Federal prosecutors have brought charges against 50 people in the scandal, in which the parents allegedly involved collectively stand accused of paying about $25 million to help their children gain admission at such institutions as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC.