Sports

Dozens of actresses, executives charged in college admissions cheating scandal

Dozens of actresses, executives charged in college admissions cheating scandal

Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators, the release says. Huffman and Loughlin have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, NBC News reports.

Lelling said in most cases, the students had no idea their parents were allegedly paying bribes to get them admitted.

Nine current or former college coaches are among the 50 people indicted in a nationwide college admissions scandal, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday in Boston.

Singer, 58, has been called the "ringleader" behind the scheme, purportedly collecting roughly $25 million from dozens of individuals including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin over the course of almost a decade to bribe school coaches and administrators into pretending their children were athletic recruits to ensure their admission into top tier colleges, prosecutors say.

"Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so". Huffman is perhaps best known for her role in ABC's Desperate Housewives and Loughlin ABC's Full House in the late 1980s and the more recent Fuller House. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan".

Federal authorities have charged college coaches and others in a sweeping admissions bribery case in federal court.

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The documents unsealed from the investigation - called Operation Varsity Blues - showed Tuesday that Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith is alleged to have helped non-recruits get into the prestigious Ivy League school by claiming they were recruits.

Wealthy parents paid Singer up to $75,000 for "someone to take the test for their child or correct the exam afterward", Lelling said.

US attorney Andrew Lelling said the plot was set up to guarantee admissions to top colleges for students, in his words, "not on their merits, but through fraud".

Singer also fabricated "impressive athletic profiles" for applicants to apply as athletes - knowing full well that universities have allocated slots for students who play sports.

Singer, of Newport Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston to charges including racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Loughlin's husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was charged with the same felony as well as honest services mail fraud.

Prosecutors said the Giannullis then paid $50,000 to a USC athletics administrator, Donna Heinel, who presented their daughter "to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions as a purported crew recruit".


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