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Former HISD employee agrees to plead guilty for part in college admissions scandal, prosecutors say

Martin Fox and Niki Williams enter federal court in Boston on March 25, 2019.
Martin Fox and Niki Williams enter federal court in Boston on March 25, 2019.

HOUSTON – A former employee of the Houston Independent School District agreed to plead guilty Thursday in connection with her involvement in the college admissions scandal that rocked the country last year, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Niki D. Williams, 46, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and honest services wire fraud and mail fraud, officials wrote in the release.

Per the terms of Williams’ plea deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence at the low end of the sentencing guidelines — 1 year of supervised release, a fine, forfeiture in the amount of $20,000 and restitution, officials said. A plea hearing for Williams has not yet been scheduled.

RELATED: How prosecutors say Niki Williams is involved in college admissions scandal

Williams administered the SAT and ACT tests at the high school in Houston where she worked. She is accused of pocketing thousands in bribes from parents all across the country to help their children get a better score on the ACT and SAT.

Officials say in exchange for bribe payments directed to her by co-conspirators William “Rick” Singer and fellow Houstonian, Martin Fox, Williams allowed another co-conspirator, Mark Riddell, to secretly take ACT and SAT tests in place of the children of Singer’s clients or to replace their exam answers with his own corrected answers. Williams then returned the falsified exams to the ACT and College Board for scoring, officials say.

Singer, Riddell and Fox have all previously pleaded guilty to the charges they faced and are cooperating with prosecutors, officials said.


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