Actresses Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman among 40 charged in college exam cheating plot


#21

Are you saying that having a degree from a Ivy-league school has value?


#22

Strangely, Im okay with this. Let the rich kids subsidize the poor one.

Federal officials have charged dozens of well-heeled parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in what the Justice Department says was a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat college admissions standards. The parents allegedly paid a consultant who then fabricated academic and athletic credentials and arranged bribes to help get their children into prestigious universities.

A judge in Los Angeles Tuesday ruled that Huffman could be released on $250,000 bond and Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, could be released on $1 million bond. Loughlin has not yet been arrested.

“We’re talking about deception and fraud — fake test scores, fake credentials, fake photographs, bribed college officials,” Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said at a news conference Tuesday in Boston.

Lelling said 33 parents “paid enormous sums” to try to ensure that their children got into universities such as Stanford and Yale, sending money to entities controlled by a California man named William Rick Singer in return for falsifying records and obtaining false scores on important tests such as the SAT and ACT.

Singer also presented his clients’ children as elite athletes, Lelling said. “In many instances, Singer helped parents take staged photographs of their children engaged in particular sports,” he said. “Other times, Singer and his associates used stock photos that they pulled off the Internet — sometimes photoshopping the face of the child onto the picture of the athlete” and submitting them to desirable schools.

“Singer’s clients paid him anywhere between $200,000 and $6.5 million for this service,” Lelling said. The alleged scheme, he noted, was uncovered after his office got a lead from someone who “was a target of an entirely separate investigation, who gave us a tip that this activity might be going on.”

The scope of the case is massive — a total of 50 people have been charged in the admissions scheme. More than three dozen people in multiple states were taken into custody Tuesday as part of “Operation Varsity Blues,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, at the news conference.

The scheme operated from 2011 through February 2019, Lelling said, adding that in most cases, parents paid Singer between $250,000 and $400,000 per student.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” Lelling said. “They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”

The parents were already able to give their children “every legitimate advantage,” but instead they “chose to corrupt and illegally manipulate the system for their benefit,” Lelling said.

“There will not be a separate admissions system for the wealthy,” he added. “And there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”

The parents were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud. Other defendants in the case include university athletic coaches and college exam administrators — some of whom are accused of accepting bribes.

The charges are part of a complex case that has been kept under seal. Documents related to the case were revealed Tuesday, as Singer pleaded guilty to a number of federal crimes from conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering to obstruction of justice, according to Lelling. A former head sailing coach at Stanford, John Vandemoer, also pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Singer “owned and operated the Edge College & Career Network LLC (‘The Key’) – a for-profit college counseling and preparation business – and served as the CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) – a non-profit corporation that he established as a purported charity,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

On its website, The Key promises to “unlock the door to academic, social, personal and career success.” The foundation says it “has touched the lives of hundreds of students that would never have been exposed to what higher education could do for them.”

Court documents state that the following schools were targeted as part of a “student-athlete recruitment scam”: Yale University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, UCLA, Wake Forest University, Stanford University, the University of San Diego and the University of Texas, Austin.

Parents allegedly paid Singer a total of about $25 million that was then funneled into bribes for coaches and a university athletic administrator, according to court documents. In return, the students were allegedly designated as “recruited athletes,” which could increase their chances at gaining admission.

For example, the indictment states that “Singer and his co-conspirators made payments totaling $250,000 to a bank account at USC that funded [then USC head water polo coach Jovan Vavic’s] water polo team.” Vavic then allegedly designated two students as water polo recruits. The complaint also says that Singer contributed to the private school tuition for Vavic’s children in exchange for his “commitment to designate Singer’s clients as recruits for the USC water polo team in the future.”

USC said in a statement that it is carrying out an internal investigation into Vavic and other current and former employees who have been charged “and will take employment actions as appropriate.”

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#23

How are they subsidizing poor students by paying a third party and on the take educators to allow rich kids to take the place of poor students in sought after schools? Not that the rich don’t subsidize some poor students in the ivies by paying high full boat tuition while non-wealthy students get discounted tuition mind you. Just not seeing how this is an instance of them doing that.


#24

There is already a post on this subject!


#25

Oppps, sorry about that.


#26

Hey it happens! I did the same thing to you so no worries!


#27

Yes, I was sort of shocked that standardized test scores were rigged so easily, but I epressed my sentiments fully in the OP. Thats why the fast trigger, I usually check before posting. Again, my apology. @KVN please eitehr merge these threads or delete this one, thank you very much.


#28

They have the money and influence to buy their kids into some of the most elite colleges in the US so odds are they will use the same to avoid any prison time.


#29

This bitch right here got into college because her rich elite liberal parents bribed her school with $500K to pretend she was smart.

By her own admission, she only goes to college to experience partying and sex, meanwhile a deserving applicant was rejected due to her bribe.

The FBI busted tons of CEOs and Acotrs/Actresses for participating in a scam to pay their children’s way into schools.

Is this exclusive of liberalism, or is this a problem conservatives face too?


#30

They have the money and influence to buy their kids into some of the most elite colleges in the US so odds are they will use the same to avoid any prison time.


#31

I haven’t heard of any conservatives being caught up in the sweep yet but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few.

Money, power, and influence,when you have them it’s hard not to use them especially for the benefit of your kids and of course to raise our social status by bragging your kid/s got into a top 10, 25, or 50 university.


#32

Actually there is,

"Mossimo G. Giannulli, founder of the clothing company Mossimo, Inc., is married to actress Lori Loughlin. He and his wife gave over $500,000 to secure admission to USC for his two daughters via the crew team. Neither daughter rows.

He supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) in 2016, and Romney and John Boehner, and before that he has also donated to Democrats."


#33

I don’t know if you seen this yet, but I was looking for the interview with Professor Patrick Deneen of Notre Dame. He speaks and articulates in succinct terms at the very subject you are trying to articulate. Interesting things that he points out.

Cue to 7:50 mark


#34

All three are certainly republicans but definitely not conservatives.


#35

That is besides the point! I am pointing out that one of the accused has donated to Republicans.


#36

And the question was about conservatives, not republicans.


#37

What ever man! You want to make this argument about semantics? Good grief! All I was trying to point out is that one of the accused donated to the Republican party, aka Conservative!


#38

Only about 30% of republicans identify as conservatives. That is why it is so difficult to get actual conservatives elected.


#39

This thread is not about whether we can elect conservatives. Try to stay on topic!


#40

The person who took it off topic was yourself by conflating conservatives with republicans.

Country Club Blue Bloods and conservatives are certainly not one and the same.