The Latest Outrage in the College Admissions Scandal

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RUSH: I have a story from the New York Post. Headline: “Posh Couple Paid in Facebook Stock to Get Daughter Into UCLA — A well-heeled California couple paid $250,000 worth of Facebook stock to weasel their non-athletic daughter into UCLA as a soccer recruit for one of the best programs in the nation, according to court papers.

“Lauren Isackson is listed as midfielder No. 41 on UCLA’s soccer team in 2017 — the same year the elite squad finished second to national champion Stanford, the Los Angeles Times reported. But prosecutors say her impressive soccer experience, listed on the same site, was all a ruse. Lauren never actually played competitive soccer, nor a single game for UCLA. Her father, Bruce, president of real estate development firm WP Investments, and mother, Davina, are among 50 people charged in the widespread college cheating scam.”

And then this paragraph. “The Isacksons are accused of giving crooked college prep expert William ‘Rick’ Singer 2,150 shares of Facebook stock worth about $251,249,” to get her into the school. Folks, there’s nothing wrong with — The attempt here to besmirch these people by paying in Facebook stock is quasi-journalism malpractice. You know how many charitable donations are made with appreciated stock? That doesn’t add anything to the scandal. It doesn’t make anything worse. The scandal is enough as it is.

The fact that they were paying anything to grease the skids to get their kids in and lying about them being athletes and getting extended time to take the tests and rigging the whole game for them. How they paid for it, I mean, this is just an attempt to make people even angrier when this is not unusual at all. Well, they could have used Bitcoin, they could have used anything is the point, but to try to enforce, these people gave away, they paid in Facebook stock! Somehow that’s supposed to make it even worse. And it’s so common.

In fact, if you happen to be fortunate enough to have enough money to be donating it to things, one of the smartest ways to do it is to donate appreciated stock so you don’t have to pay the capital gains on it. You have appreciated stock, you bought stock at a certain price. At the time you donate it, it has gained value.

So you give the receiving charity that stock, you get the charitable deduction for it, you don’t have to pay the capital gains tax on it because you’re not selling it, you don’t get rid of your whole position. But it’s a common way that — and there isn’t a charity in the world that will not accept appreciated stock or any stock in lieu of cash because all they’re gonna do is invest the money you give them or invest the stock that you give them anyway.

This is just a cheap little attempt here to, I think, attach additional evil to these people using Facebook, since Facebook has got its own image problems now, and deservedly so, by the way.

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