Prominent UBC football donor implicated in college admissions cheating scandal

Update Thursday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m: Sidoo has taken a leave from his positions as CEOs of two companies, East West Petroleum and Advantage Lithium Corp.

A former UBC Board of Governors member and prominent university donor is being charged for allegedly paying an accomplice to write his sons’ college admission exams.

David Sidoo is accused of making two payments of $100,000 USD to an accomplice for completing SAT exams for Sidoo’s two sons in 2011 and 2012, as reported by other media.

Sidoo is also being charged for paying for exams of three other children of co-conspirators between 2011 and 2017.

The US federal court has charged him with conspiracy to commit fraud in one of the largest investigations of admissions scams in American history, which also saw charges being laid against some Hollywood figures.

Sidoo’s financial and personal contributions to his alma mater are considerable.

Sidoo is one of the founding members of the 13th Man Foundation, which has poured millions into UBC’s football team since 2014. The Dave Sidoo field at Thunderbird Stadium is named in his honour.

Sidoo also previously served on UBC’s Board of Governors during the crisis that followed President Arvind Gupta’s controversial departure from UBC. He was not re-appointed by the provincial government in 2017.

Sidoo also received the Order of BC in 2016 — the province's highest honour.

“David Sidoo has been repeatedly recognized for his philanthropic endeavors, which is the true testament to his character,” said Richard Schonfeld, Sidoo’s counsel, in a press statement.

“The charge that has been lodged against David is an allegation that carries with it the presumption that he is innocent. We look forward to presenting our case in court, and ask that people don't rush to judgment in the meantime.”

Kurt Heinrich, senior director of UBC media relations, said in a statement to The Ubyssey that the university is aware of the indictment against Sidoo.

“It would be inappropriate for the university to comment any further as the case is before the courts,” Heinrich said. “The university will continue to monitor the situation.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

This article has been updated to include UBC’s comment.