American actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens of wealthy parents accused of cheating or paying bribes to get their children into elite universities and colleges.
The Justice Department unsealed indictments Tuesday accusing admissions advisers, coaches and school officials of offering wealthy families back doors into colleges of their choice, such as Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.
Besides actresses, 50 high profile personalities charged in the nationwide college admissions cheating scam include CEOs of major companies, university athletic coaches, and college exam administrators.
According to the charge sheet, Huffman made a “charitable contribution” of $15,000 to participate in the scheme to get her eldest daughter pass through an admission test.
Huffman is an Oscar nominee, but much of her work has been in television. The 56-year-old actress, who is best known for her role in comedy-drama television series “Desperate Housewives”, was briefly arrested and released on $250,000 bail.
A judge in a Los Angeles court restricted her not to travel abroad.
Lori Loughlin, who has not yet been taken into custody, was reportedly making arrangements to surrender. The 54-year- old actress, best known for starring in the sitcom “Full House”, was indicted along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli.
They reportedly agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters studying in the University of Southern California designated as recruits to the USC rowing team.
Federal prosecutors in Boston charged William “Rick” Singer of Newport Beach, California, with running the alleged scheme through his company Edge College & Career Network.
Since 2011, Singer is believed to have conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, and a university athletics administrator to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities including Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University.
33 parents and 13 coaches and associates of Singer’s businesses, including two SAT and ACT test administrators, were also charged for their involvement in the scheme.
The years-long investigation, code named “Operation Varsity Blues,” culminated Tuesday with federal agents arresting the accused in multiple states.
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