Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin among dozens charged in alleged college cheating scam

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  1. Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin among dozens charged in alleged college cheating scam


    Lori Loughlin, left, and Felicity Huffman are among dozens charged, according to a federal indictment.
    (CNN)Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens of parents, elite college coaches and college prep executives accused of carrying out a national conspiracy to get students into prestigious colleges, according to a massive federal indictment.

    Federal prosecutors said the scheme had two major pieces. In the first part, parents allegedly paid a college prep organization to take the test on behalf of students or correct their answers. Secondly, the organization allegedly bribed college coaches to help admit the students into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their actual ability, prosecutors said.

    The documents also allege that some defendants created fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes.

    In all, 50 people were charged in the criminal investigation that went by the name "Operation Varsity Blues." Those arrested include two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents, according to Andrew Lelling, the US attorney for Massachusetts.

    "This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud," Lelling said. "There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I'll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."

    He added, "For every student admitted through fraud, an honest genuinely talented student was rejected."
    Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated in the case. The indictment accuses defendants of committing crimes between 2011 and 2019.

    Huffman, an Academy Award nominee, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court paperwork filed Monday in federal court in Massachusetts. A law enforcement source confirms to CNN that the actress has been arrested in Los Angeles.

    Loughlin, star of "Full House" and "Fuller House," also is facing the same felony charge -- conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

    CNN is working to get comment from the actresses' representatives.

    Huffman, best known for her role on TV's "Desperate Housewives," is accused of paying $15,000 to an organization that then facilitated cheating for her daughter on the SATs, the indictment said. Huffman also discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with a cooperating witness, the indictment said.

    Much of the indictment revolves around William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college counseling and preparation business known as "The Key."

    As laid out in the indictment, Singer allegedly paid college coaches to claim that a prospective student should be accepted to college because the student was a recruit for their sports team. However, Singer and the coaches knew that the student was not a competitive player and that his or her athletic profile was fake, the indictment said.
    In one case, Singer even worked with parents to take staged photos of their child engaged in particular sports. In another example, they used stock photos of a person playing a sport and then put the face of a student onto that of an athlete via Photoshop, prosecutors said.

    Singer was paid roughly $25 million by parents to help their children get in to schools, the US attorney said.

    lovingmybags likes this.
  2. The news so far for 2019 has been amazingly wild. That's a lot just for college.
  3. Despicable. Photoshopped the kids faces onto stock photos... How low can you go?
    S_STAR, tweezer, Catash and 3 others like this.
  4. Who is the famous fashion designer they say has also been chraged? I wonder if it’s just Loughlin’s husband...
  5. I hope Lori Loughlin isn't expecting more Hallmark channel roles. She kind of blew her "good girl" image to pieces here.
  6. Sad that kids who's parents have all the money and opportunity need to cheat to get into college. So entitled. Why work hard and study when mommy & daddy would resort to this?? :hrmm:
    JDV, S_STAR, MahoganyQT and 14 others like this.
  7. don't know if the kids knew about this
    daisychainz and AManIntoFashion like this.
  8. I am just amazed that these people, whose children already have so many advantages, would do something so stupid and flat out wrong. How could they ever have imagined that this would actually help their children in the long run? Those kids would always know they didn't get into school based on their own merit. Then, once in, they might not be able to handle the work, keep up with their peers, and fail out. Then, what about the future? What does this tell these kids about how to conduct themselves once they are out in the real world?

    I've been through the college admissions process twice with my kids and have ridden the ups and down of acceptances and rejections from some of those "reach" schools. So, it is so very frustrating to read a story like this since the vast majority of parents and students would never do something like this. For every one of these kids, a legitimate, deserving student was rejected and did not get in which is just awful.

    I read another article that said the majority of the students didn't know what was done to get them in. Pretty sure I don't believe that and the parents now are just trying to shield the kids. How could a student not know their SAT scores were wrong and not what they earned? Those SAT scores have to be dropped into numerous applications. (My own kids needed them for a few initial job applications upon graduation.) How could you not know you were being "recruited" as an athlete for a sport you never played? Your applications would list the sports and various extracurriculars and awards won.

    Just shaking my head over this whole thing.
  9. Replying to TC1:
    I’m not sure that is fair. Getting into university or a Ivy League university is tough nowadays. Not every kid has what it takes marks wise, even if they work hard. And who knows if the kids were lackadaisical about school because they knew this would happen or even complicit in the efforts beyond doing what their parents told them to do. They are still kids.

    The unfortunate part is now these kids will be forever tainted by the actions of their parents.
    Ceeyahd likes this.
  10. interesting they talk about Felicity but not her husband?
    Stephie2800 and carlpsmom like this.
  11. I was just basing it on the article saying someone cheated for her daughter on the SAT's I guess more will come to light.
  12. It sounds like she was caught on the wires.
  13. It’s been awhile (like 15 years) but when I was applying to college, you simply sent the scores to the school by filling out the school’s ID # when you took the exam or got the scores. You did not supply the scores to the school yourself. Back then you had to submit every score from each time you took the test and couldn’t choose. I don’t know if that is still the case.
  14. >How could a student not know their SAT scores were wrong

    Heh. Some kids do seem to think they're smarter than they actually are. Kids who genuinely believe it, like body dysmorphia, but for the brain. I know a boy who tells everyone that "math comes easy to him", and I do believe he genuinely believes this. Of course, he's also one year behind "on-grade" level. See my point? But he believes it nonetheless. I could see him receiving an inaccurately high SAT score, and believing it.
  15. Yes it is - Mossimo
    I could see something like this being something a parent would ease into being so swept up in wanting the best for their kid that they lose sight of it being wrong. In the mind of a parent, is there that big of a leap from hiring a personal coach to help a kid excel at a sport or other talent ... hiring a tutor to improve grades and test scores ... to this? I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with it - there is. But i could see a parent starting with the harmless hiring of people to help their kids and then being presented with this opportunity and thinking it was just hiring additional help.

    I thought the same thing.I wonder if that's a matter of available evidence. They said there are recordings of Huffman talking to an informant. Perhaps any payment handed over also came from her so there's nothing directly tying Macy to it?
    purse whore likes this.