AceShowbiz - Robert Flaxman, one of the co-conspirators in a 2019 nationwide college bribery scandal involving celebrities, has tragically ended his life. The Beverly Hills real estate developer died by suicide last week at his Malibu home.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed the flamboyant businessman died on October 20 and the case has been marked as closed. According to TMZ, law enforcement sources said that Robert was found dead by hanging after his friends requested a welfare check on him.
It's reported that no suicide note was found, but authorities said that Robert had a history of depression, which likely contributed to his tragic passing. His friends and business partners expressed their shock at his death in a statement on Thursday, October 27 from Crown Realty & Development. "There are no words of comfort at this time for his family and friends. It is a huge loss for all of us," it read. His attorney additionally told The Daily Beast, "I can tell you that I was shocked and saddened by the news, which came as a complete surprise."
Robert was one of 38 parents indicted in the college admission scandal alongside actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. He was accused of conspiring with William "Rick" Singer, the mastermind behind the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, to cheat his daughter's way into college.
The founder and CEO of Crown Realty & Development pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud for paying Singer $75,000 to rig his daughter's ACT exam. He was sentenced in October 2019 to one month in prison, 250 hours of community service, one year's supervised release and a $50,000 fine. He served his time at a federal prison in Arizona in late 2019.
Robert's attorney William Weinreb said that his client had been driven by a misguided desire to help his daughter get into a "lower-tier school" after years of troubles left her with a "checkered disciplinary record and modest grades."
In conversations with The Wall Street Journal in late 2019 and early 2020, he said that he had held long, honest conversations with his children after his arrest. "The lesson for me is to trust more in them," he shared. "Trust that they find their own path."
In 2020, Robert began selling off his Beverly Hills homes, listing them for a combined $34 million. According to The Real Deal which first reported his death, the 66-year-old's company controlled a $600 million portfolio before he was arrested in 2019.