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Pimco says college scandal mastermind spoke at two events it hosted

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Pimco says college scandal mastermind spoke at two events it hosted

David Sidoo (2nd R) — along with attorneys Richard Schonfeld (L), David Chesnoff and Martin Weinberg (R) — speaks outside Boston federal court after pleading not guilty to charges of participating in the largest college admissions fraud scheme in U.S. history in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Ross Kerber

BOSTON (Reuters) – The figure at the center of the U.S. college cheating scandal spoke twice in the past decade at events hosted by Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco), one of the world’s largest asset managers whose former chief executive is ensnared in the fraud, the company said on Friday.

Some Pimco employees also used William ‘Rick’ Singer’s “legitimate college prep services,” Pimco said in a statement.

“We have no information at this time, however, to indicate Pimco employees acted improperly in their private capacity,” Pimco said.

“Any such relationships with Mr. Singer are entirely the private affairs of individuals. However, Pimco holds its employees to the highest ethical standards, so any employee found to have engaged in fraud or any illegal activity would have no place at the firm,” Pimco said.

Singer, who last addressed a Pimco event in 2015, is accused by federal authorities of bribing athletic coaches and arranging for phony test-takers to secure clients’ children spots at elite universities. One of the parents accused of paying Singer in the alleged scheme is Douglas Hodge, Pimco’s former CEO, who left the company in 2017.

Some 50 people including prominent executives, Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, and college sports coaches have been charged in the scheme. Prosecutors say Singer made about $25 million over eight years by bribing coaches and arranging for phony test-takers to secure clients’ children spots at elite universities including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.

Earlier on Friday, ousted Advantage Lithium Corp Chief Executive David Sidoo became the first of the 33 parents charged in the scam to plead not guilty.

Reporting by Ross Kerber, Nate Raymond, Alex Dobuzinskis, and Jennifer Ablan; writing by Scott Malone; editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bill Trott and Bill Berkrot

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Lori Loughlin’s Hallmark Channel co-stars say college admissions scandal put them in ‘tough spot’

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Lori Loughlin's Hallmark Channel co-stars say college admissions scandal put them in 'tough spot'

At least two cast members from the Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” series have shared their appreciation for fans following Lori Loughlin’s firing from the show as a result of her alleged involvement in a nationwide college admissions scandal.

Paul Greene, who plays the character Carson Shepherd on the show, thanked fans via Twitter on Tuesday for their “amazing love and support through this tough spot.”

Andrea Brooks, too, shared a similar message, thanking fans for the “tremendous outpouring of love and support over the past week.”

“Hi #Hearties, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that I appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love and support over the past week. Your kindness and dedication does not go unnoticed. I love being a part of this family. Thank you,” Brooks, who plays Faith Carter on the show, wrote on Instagram.

The show cut ties with Loughlin following news of her alleged involvement in an elite scheme that involved wealthy families allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure a place for their children at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities such as Yale, the University of Southern California (USC) and Georgetown, among others.

Loughlin, and husband and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, specifically, allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters — YouTube star Olivia Jade Giannulli and her older sister Isabella —designated as recruits for the USC crew team despite the fact that neither participated in the sport.

On Instagram last week, the Hallmark Channel assured fans it would not be canceling the show despite the fact Loughlin, who played Abigail Stanton, would not be returning.

The show’s producer Brian Bird also took to the photo-sharing platform to share a similar message, noting the show has “gone on a creative hiatus to do some retooling on the remaining Season 6 episodes.”

“Your love for When Calls the Heart is the courage we count on as we work through this challenging transition and your Hearties community will always be the most important legacy of this TV series. We love you!” he concluded.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

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Emily Ratajkowski shows exposed rib cage in bikini snap

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Emily Ratajkowski shows exposed rib cage in bikini snap

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Emily Ratajkowski is still posing in bikinis.

The brunette bombshell showed off another piece from her Inamorata Woman line on Instagram.

In a black and white snapshot, Ratajkowski, 27, wore a light colored string bikini top with matching high-cut bottoms as she posed on a chair, revealing her visible rib cage.

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She accessorized with small hoop earrings and had her brown hair swept into a messy updo.

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This post got much less hate than another recent black and white photo she posted to Instagram.

Last week, Ratajkowski posted a photo of her and plus-sized model pal Caitlin King’s rear ends to promote her swimwear and lingerie line.

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She was hit with a lot of flak for allegedly bodyshaming her friend.

Last month, Ratajkowski posed in lingerie and bikinis in a convenience store to promote her Inamorata brand.

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She’s previously expressed that her clothing choices are a feminist act, saying it was “important” to wear “a string bikini on the beach and at a protest.”

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Allison Mack is in ‘active plea negotiations’ to avoid trial for alleged involvement in NXIVM sex cult

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Allison Mack is in 'active plea negotiations' to avoid trial for alleged involvement in NXIVM sex cult

“Smallville” actress Allison Mack along with two other defendants swept up in the alleged sex trafficking conspiracy by the self-help group, that many call a cult, NXIVM may avoid their respective trials next month thanks to a plea deal.

It was revealed in court that Mack and the others are in “active plea negotiations” as a fourth defendant, NXIVM co-founder and alleged ringleader of the cult, Keith Raniere, appeared in court to plead not guilty to child pornography charges related to the case.

LAWYERS IN ALLISON MACK NXIVM SEX CULT CASE TO REVIEW ‘SEXUALLY EXPLICIT’ PHOTOS AND CONVERSATIONS

Mack is best known for her long-running role on the superhero TV show about the early days of Clark Kent’s life. However, it was previously reported that she was heavily involved in the NXIVM organization. Mack allegedly got involved with the organization when she was unhappy with her acting career. She reportedly rose in the ranks to become a key player in its activities, which allegedly included branding its members and finding sex slaves for Raniere.

Mack is currently on pretrial house arrest at her parent’s home in Los Alamitos, Calif., on a $5 million bond. However, next month she’s expected to travel to New York to stand trial, unless she’s able to make a plea deal.

‘SMALLVILLE’ ACTRESS ALLISON MACK ASKS COURT TO LET HER CONTINUE ACTING AMID NXIVM SEX CULT ALLEGATIONS

Additionally, defense attorney Mark Geragos said that his client, Seagram liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman, will be asking for a separate trial on charges she bank-rolled the Albany-based group that has been compared to a cult. Bronfman and Mack have previously denied the charges.

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“We don’t need to be the collateral damage,” Geragos said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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