James Littlefair, a staff member for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, resigned from the department after his mother, Karen Littlefair, agreed to plead guilty in the nation’s college admissions scandal in a plot that involved his graduation from Georgetown University.
Politico reported Wednesday that James Littlefair resigned earlier this month. A statement from the Justice Department, published by the news outlet, confirmed Littlefair “no longer works at the Justice Department” but did not elaborate. The department did not respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.
On Monday, Karen Littlefair, 57, was charged with wire fraud for paying $9,000 to the “Varsity Blues” mastermind, Rick Singer, to have someone secretly take four online classes at Georgetown and Arizona State University for her son to help him graduate.
Prosecutors said the fraudulently earned grades and credits were submitted to Georgetown to facilitate his May 2018 graduation. A Georgetown spokeswoman said the university could revoke his degree.
Karen Littlefair agreed to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors signed Nov. 11. Federal prosecutors recommended she be sentenced four months in prison followed by one year of supervised release, pay restitution and a $9,500 fine. Her plea hearing in Boston federal court is not yet set.
Politico reported James Littlefair worked on the advance team for Mnuchin in President Donald Trump’s administration. He worked for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign before joining the Treasury Department in 2017.
Karen Littlefair, of Newport Beach, California, was the 53rd person charged in the nation’s college admissions cheating and recruitment scandal. She’s the first defendant in the sweeping case to face charges related to cheating in class for a student who was enrolled in college as opposed to seeking entry into college. She is married to Andrew Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy Fuels.
Neither James nor Andrew Littlefair were charged in the case.
More: New ‘Varsity Blues’ charges: Georgetown mom pleads guilty to cheating in son’s online classes
Andrew Littlefair is a major political donor, primarily for Republican candidates. He was president of Pickens Fuel Corp, the company that evolved into Clean Energy Fuels, which he co-founded with the late businessman T. Boone Pickens after serving as his assistant.
Before entering the natural gas industry, Andrew Littlefair served as assistant to the President in the Office of Presidential Advance under Ronald Reagan.
More: College admissions scandal tracker: Who’s pleaded guilty, who’s gone to prison — and who’s still fighting
Reach Joey Garrison and on Twitter @Joeygarrison.