British Columbia

David Sidoo stripped of Order of B.C. over college admissions scandal

David Sidoo, a businessman from Vancouver who participated in a U.S. college admissions cheating scheme, has been stripped of his Order of British Columbia.

Sidoo pleaded guilty to paying someone $200K to take the SATs for his sons

David Sidoo leaves following his federal court hearing in Boston, Mass. Sidoo pleaded guilty in March to fraud for his part in a wide-ranging college admissions bribery scandal. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe/The Associated Press)

David Sidoo, a businessman from Vancouver who participated in a U.S. college admissions cheating scheme, has been stripped of his Order of British Columbia.

A news release from the provincial government says his membership to the province's highest honour was terminated Friday. 

The former Canadian Football League player pleaded guilty in March to paying someone $200,000 to take the SATs in place of his two sons.

According to the Provincial Symbols and Honours Act, the termination process is launched when a member of the Order is convicted of a criminal offence or when their conduct undermines the credibility and integrity of the Order. 

Nationwide admissions scandal

Sidoo was charged with fraud-related offences after authorities in the U.S. revealed a sprawling, nationwide college admissions scandal in March 2019. 

In total, 15 wealthy parents were arrested in the sweeping scandal. Nearly two dozen other parents, including Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, have already pleaded guilty. 

Huffman served 11 days of a two-week sentence before her release last October.

Felicity Huffman, centre, departs federal court with her brother Moore Huffman Jr., left, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Boston, where she pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

Sidoo was accused of paying the admissions consultant at the centre of the scheme $200,000 to have someone pose as his sons using a fake ID to secure higher scores on their SATs.

The same person also took a Canadian high school graduation exam in place of his older son, authorities said. The older son was later admitted to a private university in California, while the younger ended up at the University of California-Berkeley.

The test taker, Mark Riddell, has pleaded guilty and has been co-operating with investigators.

Sidoo asked in March that his name be removed from the David Sidoo Field at UBC.

Sidoo played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions, according to his website.

He was CEO of mining firm Advantage Lithium Corp. when he was arrested last year and was also a founding shareholder of an oil and gas company that was sold in 2010 for more than $600 million.


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