Scheme helped wealthy Americans buy their childrens way into elite universities including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford
US federal prosecutors have charged Hollywood actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, along with almost 50 other people, over a $25m scheme to help wealthy Americans buy their childrens way into elite universities including Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
Huffman was due to appear in court in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon. Her husband, actor William H Macy, showed up at court ahead of his wifes appearance to face a charge of bribery.
Two hundred FBI agents were involved in the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, which exposed how parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.
William Rick Singer, 58, was charged by federal prosecutors in Boston with running the racketeering scheme through his Edge College & Career Network, which served a roster of clients including chief executives and Hollywood actors.
Thirty-three parents, including Huffman and Loughlin, were charged, as well as 13 college sports coaches and associates of Singers business. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by middayin what authorities called a conspiracy nationwide in scope.
These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege, Andrew Lelling, the US attorney for the district of Massachusetts, said in a press conference on Tuesday morning. Based on the charges unsealed today, all of them knowingly conspired with Singer and others to buy their childrens admission to elite schools through fraud.
Lelling said the parents included CEOs, successful securities and real estate traders, a fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.
Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5m to guarantee their childrens admission, officials said.
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