College coaches, Hollywood actresses indicted in admissions bribery case

Aunt Becky Charged For Scamming Colleges

Aunt Becky Charged For Scamming Colleges

The internet still won't shut up about Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin being among the 50 people charged in an investigation into affluent parents who cheated and bribed their children into elite colleges.

Prosecutors say parents paid an admissions consultant $25 million from 2011 through February 2019 to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into schools. "For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected".

"These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege", prosecutor Andrew Lelling said in announcing the 25 million dollar (£19 million) federal bribery case.

Some 300 law enforcement agents swept across the country on Tuesday to make arrests in what agents codenamed "Operation Varsity Blues". 44 people have been charged so far, according to the report.

Loughlin and Huffman (as well as Macy) have yet to issue a statement or comment upon the charges. Mossimo allegedly wrote to William Singer, who is accused of running the scam, in 2016.

As for Huffman, she and her husband, William H. Macy, allegedly made a charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in a college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of their eldest daughter.

"In subsequent e-mails, (they) agreed to tell the high school counselor that Huffman's daughter would take the SAT at a different location (during a weekend) so that she would not miss any school", prosecutors wrote.

Loughlin appeared in the ABC sitcom "Full House", and Huffman starred in ABC's "Desperate Housewives". "Thereafter, the Giannullis use bribes to facilitate her admission to USC as a recruited crew coxswain, even though she did not row competitively or otherwise participate in crew", prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

"Aunt Becky paid $500,000 to bribe her daughters' way into USC?"

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On a call with a wealthy parent, prosecutors said, Mr Singer summed up his business.

"What we do is help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into families want a guarantee", he allegedly said.

He also explained how their daughter could receive extra time for the test. Prosecutors said at a press conference Tuesday this was typically achieved by claiming a learning disability. The children, generally, did not realize their admission was due to a bribe.

Huffman and Loughlin are expected to be among the dozens arrested as part of this alleged scheme.

The parents were then advised to choose one of two test centres that Singer's company said it had control over: one in Houston, Texas, and the other in West Hollywood, California.

Mr Singer would agree with parents beforehand roughly what score they wanted the child to get.

According to the criminal complaint, the cheating was facilitated "in some cases by posing as the actual students, and in others by providing students with answers during the exams or by correcting their answers after they had completed the exams". None of the children are being charged for now.

The plot involved students who attended or were seeking to attend Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale, according to federal prosecutors.

In one instance highlighted by federal prosecutors, it is alleged that the head women's soccer coach at Yale was paid $400,000 to accept a student even though the applicant did not play soccer.

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