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Who Is Rick Caruso? New Details About The Billionaire Whose Yacht Olivia Jade Was On Amid College Cheating Scam

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Who Is Rick Caruso? New Details About The Billionaire Who's Yacht Olivia Jade Was On Amid College Cheating Scam
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He is a billionaire.

Operation Varsity Blues has uncovered a college entrance exam cheating scandal involving 33 parents. One of them is Full House actress Lori Loughlin who was found to have paid $500,000 in bribes to get her two daughters Isabella and Olivia Jade into the University of Southern California. Lori was in Vancouver, British Columbia when the charges against her were filed. Her daughter Olivia Jade was vacationing in the Bahamas on the yacht belonging to her friend's dad, Rick Caruso. Oliva Jade and Gianna Caruso were on spring break with several other friends. In the wake of the scandal, Olivia Jade opted to leave the yacht and return to Los Angeles. Caruso told TMZ: "My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government's announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home." Who is Rick Caruso?

1. He is a real estate developer

Rick Caruso is a billionaire real estate developer and the founder of the privately held Caruso Affiliated. His company has major real estate holdings in Los Angeles including The Grove and The Americana at Brand. He has been called the "Walt Disney of real estate" for both his success and his instincts for where and how people want to shop.  He sums up his core philosophy on the business like this: "If you provide something that is unique and relevant, in a setting that people find captivating, you will do well. Retail has gotten sideways because it became the commodity. It is not about being high tech; it is about understanding what your customer wants."

2. He is a billionaire

Rick Caruso became a billionaire by changing the way Southern Californians shop. In Southern California, where the weather is good 365 days a year, the mall concept has evolved to an outdoor entertainment destination that is equal parts Rodeo Drive and Disneyland. The man behind this movement is billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso. The shopping centers Caruso builds are mixed-use, open-air shopping centers that recall an idyllic town square.The 60-year-old is best known for the shopping and entertainment center, The Grove, which has an electric trolley that traverses the length of the mall, cobbled walkways, and a fountain made by the same people who made the Bellagio's famous fountains in Las Vegas. And yes, The Grove's fountain also has dancing water. During the Christmas season, it snows nightly in the mall. The 17-year-old mall has 49,000 visitors every day. For perspective, that means the mall gets more daily visitors than Disneyland. The Grove is one of the most lucrative malls in the U.S. based on sales per square foot. Caruso has a net worth of $4 billion.

RELATED: Who Is Olivia Jade Giannulli? New Details About Lori Loughlin's Daughter Who's In The Middle Of The College Cheating Scheme

3. He is head of the USC Board of Trustees

Rick Caruso was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from USC in 1980 with his bachelor's. He graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983. Last year, he was elected Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will not decide the fate of Isabella and Olivia or the other students related to the scandal. Interim University President Wanda Austin will determine how to handle those students. 

4. Rick Caruso's statement on USC's involvement in the scandal

Rick Caruso did not shy away from addressing the scandal despite his daughter's friendship with Olivia Jade. On Tuesday he said: "The charges filed today against employees of USC are disturbing and the alleged activity is absolutely wrong. I am saddened that these people would abuse their positions of trust and, as the government has alleged, victimize USC in the process.  There is no option other than zero tolerance for this type of behavior. As a result, USC has fired the alleged wrongdoers."

RELATED: Who Is Lori Loughlin's Husband? New Details About Mossimo Giannulli — And The College Cheating Scam They Were Busted In Connection With

5. The Yacht

Rick Caruso owns the super yacht Invictus. It is a 216-foot long vessel that sleeps up to 12 guests in 9 rooms. It can be chartered in the summer for $616,500 plus expenses per week. It can be chartered in the winter for $525,000 plus expenses per week. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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