The mastermind behind a nationwide college admissions scandal that catered to the wealthy was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison Wednesday.

“It’s a serious case, it’s a difficult case,” said Judge Rya Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts after noting the “large amount of dishonesty” on William “Rick” Singer’s and others’ part and the vastness of the so-called “side-door” scheme.