Hollywood Actors Involved in College Admissions Scandal
And celebrities in Hollywood or the music business like to lecture the rest of us about morality.
The most sweeping college admissions fraud scheme ever unearthed in the United States was masterminded at a small college-preparation company based in Newport Beach
Nearly 50 people, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged on Tuesday in what federal authorities say was a $25 million scam to help wealthy Americans get their children into elite universities like Yale and Stanford.
William “Rick” Singer used his nonprofit organization — which prosecutors called a “purported charity” to bribe college officials — to donate $150,000 in cash grants to DePaul University where his son was a student.
Suspects are accused of paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC
Jennifer Maas and Tim Baysinger | March 12, 2019
Former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman and “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin are among 46 people who have been arrested in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam case, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
The suspects — who also include William McGlashan Jr., co-founder of STX and a director of the Hollywood agency CAA — have been charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC, according to charging documents.
During a press conference in Boston on Tuesday, Andrew Lelling, U.S. District Attorney for Massachusetts, said this was the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” totaling $25 million in bribes.
The official charges for both actresses were “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.” If convicted, they could each face up to five years in prison. According to Elizabeth McCarthy, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Huffman was taken into custody early Tuesday and Loughlin has agreed to surrender.
According to a separate affidavit, Huffman and her spouse — “Shameless” star William H. Macy, who was not identified by his name or charged in the affidavit — made a charitable donation of $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter.” The document added that Huffman “later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her youngest daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
The documents also say that Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
The scam centered around a California man, William Singer, who ran a business to help students gain admission into the college of their choice. This would involve being paid a pre-set amount by parents, who then funneled the money to either an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach. The scheme would work in one of two ways, according to prosecutors: The coaches would arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete or exam administrators would either hire proctors to take the test or correct the answers of a student after the fact.