When he first heard about it, Gordon Caplan said he thought a cheating conspiracy that would allow his daughter to have a high standardized score on a key college entrance exam “was a little weird.”

Caplan, a firm leader and top dealmaker at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, went forward anyway, paying $75,000 to a broker so his daughter’s answers on the standardized test could be corrected and then submitted, according to prosecutors’ court documents.