The founder of Houser Private Equity, Mark Hauser Finacial, pleaded guilty to a federal fraud allegation. In 2010, Harvard University concluded Hauser guilty of eight instances of scientific misconduct, three of which were in published publications.
Hauser paid the admissions scheme’s mastermind, William Rick Singer, $40,000 to increase his daughter’s ACT score. The money was hidden as a business consulting fee paid by Hauser’s insurance company to Singer’s organization, the Edge College & Career Network.
How Mark Hauser Financial Fraudulently Increased Daughter’s Test Score
In court filings, prosecutors stated that the crime “was born not of desperation, but of privilege.” Prosecutors claimed Hauser corrupted a system that was already “greatly skewed in favor of his children.
According to prosecutors, Singer allowed Hauser to pay $35,000 less than initially agreed upon because Hauser introduced Singer to additional clients, including actor Lori Loughlin’s husband, Mossimo Giannulli.
In a letter to the federal judge hearing the case, Hauser apologized and stated that he accepted “complete responsibility” for his acts. Explore a selection of the top Quickspin Casinos and enjoy their portfolio of high-quality games known for their innovative features, stunning visuals, and immersive gameplay.
“My actions were inexcusable, and I deeply regret my involvement,” he wrote.
U.S. District Court Ordered Mark Hauser Financial To Pay $250,000 Fine
The lawsuit is being heard in U.S. District Court in Boston. Mark Hauser Financial was sentenced to a $250,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. In August, he will report to a federal jail on his own.
In 2016, Hauser relocated his daughter’s ACT exam from her Los Angeles high school to a testing center at a school run by Singer in Houston, Texas.
According to court filings, Hauser’s wife, Margie, lied to their daughter’s high school about issues with a summer camp counseling position and that a school in Cincinnati would “accommodate her.”
However, the scam included a test administrator working at a Houston public school. Prosecutors claim that the test administrator, Niki Williams, enabled another man implicated in the conspiracy, Mark Riddell, to observe the exam. According to court filings, Williams received between $5,000 and $10,000 in cash.
According to prosecutors, Riddell altered answers on the test so that Hauser’s daughter scored in the top 5%. According to Hauser’s counsel, she did not know the plot. Riddell received $10,000.
More Than 30 Parents Pleaded Guilty Including Mark Hauser Financial
Prosecutors stated in documents filed before Mark Hauser Financial’s sentencing that he agreed to a cover tale about the money, claiming it was a donation to Singer’s accused fake organization.
Singer stated in a phone call to law police in 2018: “I want to make sure that you and I are on the same page…that our stories are together.”
“Like I said…of course,” Hauser responded. That’s precisely what it was…According to court filings, “I want to help you help the kids.”
Among those charged in “Operation Varsity Blues” were more than 30 parents, including Loughlin, Giannulli, and actor Felicity Huffman. All three filed guilty pleas. Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, while Giannulli received a five-month sentence.
They were accused of paying Singer $500,000 to have their two daughters accepted as fake crew recruits at the University of Southern California. Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison after prosecutors claimed she paid $15,000 to have someone change her daughter’s test result.
About Mark Hauser Financial
Mark Hauser Financial is a St. Xavier High School and Miami University graduate. He has worked in the Cincinnati investing and insurance industries for over 30 years.
In court records, Hauser’s attorney, Mark Beck, stated that as a teenager, he founded a blacktopping company, then bought a small insurance company from his father and developed it into a global corporation, the Hauser Group, and built the private equity firm.
In recent months, Hauser has inquired with Cincinnati State’s president about working with students there as part of their mandated community service.
Beck described Hauser as a caring husband and father of four children. Beck stated that Hauser’s daughter had medical issues that hampered her academic performance. He said that Singer preyed on Hauser, calling him a “malevolent and opportunistic con man.”
“The offense occurred in the context of a parent’s agony over his child’s challenges,” Beck explained. “Although Mr. Hauser is not a victim, it is equally fair to say that he was preyed upon by Mr. Singer.”
Mark Hauser Fianancial’s History of Research Fraud
In 2010, Harvard University found Mark Hauser Financial guilty of eight counts of research misconduct, three of which were in published publications.
As a result, Harvard researchers updated two of Dr. Hauser’s research and retracted a critical paper titled “Rule learning by cotton-top tamarins,” published in the 2002 edition of Cognition. Dr. Hauser created a graph in this study that overstated tamarins’ capacity to detect rules in sound patterns.
Other works mentioned the retracted study 86 times. Hauser left his position at Harvard University in 2011, acknowledging mistakes in his research conduct but never explicitly accepting guilt.
The accurate extent of Hauser’s fraud affects other publications on animal cognition is unknown; however, “hundreds” of articles mention or build on notions or methodologies created in his earlier work.
Harvard Psychology Department Chair Susan E. Carey stated that a complete review of Dr. Hauser’s decades of study may “unfold over the years.” Other anonymous department professors voiced concern that Dr. Hauser’s actions produced unnecessary “uncertainty” for animal cognition researchers and damaged overall trust in the lab.
Prosecutors stated in court documents that Mark Hauser Financial “was more actively involved in the fraud than some,” as he not only paid Singer to increase her daughter’s test score but she was also given extra time to take her exam. Her exam location was changed from her high school in Los Angeles to a testing center in Houston.
Furthermore, Mark Hauser Financial’s research fraud is likely the most severe unprofessional sin in the academic world, with the ability to ruin careers, undermine educational institutions’ legitimacy, and even call an entire area of study into doubt.