What’s worse, being named a liar and a cheat by authorities…or having your name splashed across the world and named as a liar and a cheat? That’s what actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are waking up to today – and they’re on a list of nearly 50 others charged in what’s being called the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
Dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” federal officials say elite and wealthy parents paid bribes of up to six-million-bucks to get their kids into elite colleges. In all, officials say ringleader William Singer collected $25-million to get the privileged into schools including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling says there can be no separate college admission for the wealthy and there will be "no separate criminal justice system either."
For his part, Singer is already pleading guilty. He’s copped to charges of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The con involved cheating on ACT and SAT exams or creating fake sports profiles to get the students into college on a sports team. Others charged include CEOs, two SAT or ACT exam administrators, and nine coaches at the targeted schools.
·To see the court documents, including the complete list of those indicted and what exactly they’re accused of, CLICK HERE.
·Neither Huffman nor Loughlin have made any statements, but Huffman is out of jail after posting a $250-thousand bond when she appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom – she’ll be back in court (in Boston) on March 29th. Loughlin is expected to surrender to authorities later today. According to reports, Huffman was taken into custody at gunpoint at her home in Los Angeles, while Loughlin was in Vancouver when police showed up at her residence. Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was taken into custody with a bond set at $1-million. He has since been released – and will also appear in Boston on the 29th.
Looking ahead to their respective cases, Huffman allegedly paid $15-thousand, which she disguised as a charitable donation (funneled through Singer’s IRS-approved charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation), so her daughter, Sofia, could take her SATs in a controlled environment. Why? The hired proctor changed her wrong answers…and reportedly boosted her score by 400 points.
As for Loughlin and Giannulli, it’s a tad messier. The couple allegedly paid $500-thousand so that their daughters – Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose – could get into USC. They even paid to have the young women designated as recruits on the crew team…even though neither even rows.