More than 40 people have been charged in connection with an alleged college entrance cheating scam — including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
The Justice Department on Tuesday said that 33 parents have been charged for using "bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children's admission" into colleges, per The Washington Post. William Singer, who will plead guilty on Tuesday, allegedly ran an organization called Key Worldwide Foundation, which he claimed was a non-profit organization but was actually a "sham charity" that took money from parents and used it to bribe college admissions officials, said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
These parents "knowingly conspired" with Singer to either pay college entrance exam administrators, to have someone else take exams for the students or have their answers changed afterward, or to bribe college officials to falsely say the students were being recruited as athletes, Lelling said.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Huffman, known for playing Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives, is accused of paying $15,000, which she claimed as a charitable donation, to have her daughter's SAT answers changed, the Post reports. Per ABC News, Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on Full House, is accused of paying $500,000 in order to have her daughters "designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California] crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC," charging documents say. Huffman and Loughlin have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, NBC News reports.
Lelling said in a press conference that this is the "largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice," saying the parents "chose to corrupt and illegally manipulate the system for their benefit." The Justice Department says Singer will plead guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.