As someone who is intimately involved in the college admissions cheating scandal, I feel compelled to share my thoughts.

To start, it is a good thing defendants in the case are starting to accept responsibility. As I have said on Fox News and CNN they have a duty and responsibility, if they did it, to own it.

Still, I was disappointed in some of the initial statements. For example, earlier today I read that Bruce & Davina Isackson agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.

Mr. and Mrs. Isackson, I read in the article, paid to get their non soccer daughter into UCLA–then they deducted the expense on their taxes.

Their statement of apology started like this…”“Our duty as parents was to set a good example for our children and instead we have harmed and embarrassed them by our misguided decisions. We have also let down our family, friends, colleagues and our entire community, ” they wrote.

What they said is true. The problem is there is not enough emphasis on the victims. In other words, the students who were denied access to higher education because someone underserving took their spot.

I presume a lawyer or public relations firm wrote the statement. It was the wrong opening and one that will not help them get sympathy–or the outcome they are after.

To close, the victim must always come first. To repeat, the victims must always come first. Not friends. Not family. Not your community–victims.

I have attended more than 100 sentencing hearings since my release from federal prison in 2009. Our company has guided thousands of people successfully through each phase of the system. That success stemmed, in part, from our clients putting the victims first–something these white collar defendants failed to do.

Justin Paperny