What scandal could be more like a plot twist from Desperate Housewives??
The U.S. Attorneys Office broke down the alleged scheme during a news conference … and named William Rick Singer as the ringleader. They say he created a fake non-profit, charitable foundation which served as a front to launder the payments from parents. The colleges themselves are not targets of the investigation, and neither are the students as many were kept in the dark about the scam. Singer admitted to being the mastermind of the scheme and faces a slew of charges. He not only orchestrated the scheme, but helped bring it down when he agreed to wear a wire and cooperate with investigators.
The feds said most parents paid between $200k and $400k for Singer’s help. Some payments apparently went as high as $6.5 million. All told, they say investigators uncovered about $25 million in bribes.
Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House) were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. Loughlin and Huffman were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. Both were caught through recorded phone conversations.
#FelicityHuffman in federal court earlier today— unable to leave because of cameras blocking the door. She’s 1 of 33 parents accused of bribing college officials to get their kids into good schools.
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) March 13, 2019
Felicity Huffman released on $250,000 bond in college admissions scandal https://t.co/fsNIq6lIpD
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 13, 2019
“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the $25 million federal bribery case.
He called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.
At least nine athletic coaches and dozens of parents were among those charged. A total of 46 people were arrested by midday, including Huffman and Loughlin, in an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, federal authorities said.
No students were charged because authorities said in many cases, the students were not aware of the fraud.
In Loughlin’s case, she and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 to bolster their two daughters’ chances of getting into the University of Southern California as a fake rowing recruit. Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, paid $15,000 to get one of their daughters unlimited time for her SAT test. Court documents claim the girl got a 1420 score, which was about 400 points over her PSAT.
BTW…Loughlin’s 19-year-old daughter Olivia is a YouTube star who is now getting heavily trolled on social media. This might have all been a waste when you consider a video she posted to her YouTube channel on the day she was due to start college last year, saying: ‘I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend. But I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying… I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.’
— Johnny (@Johnnys_Eye) March 12, 2019
Olivia has also cashed in on being student during her brief time at USC. She posted sponsored content for Amazon Prime on her Instagram account in September.
This will continue to be investigated.