Felicity Huffman charged on Tuesday being part of a long-running bribery scheme
The Justice Department on Tuesday charged 50 people - including two Hollywood stars - with being part of a long-running bribery scheme to get privileged kids with poor grades into big-name universities and colleges.
The reported crimes included cheating on entry examinations, and also bribing college authorities to express specific students were visiting completed on athletic teams when those students were not in fact athletes, authorities stated. Several schools were targeted, including Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and UCLA, among others.
Boston’s U.S. attorney, Andrew Lelling, called it the largest ever college admissions fraud charged by the Justice Department. Of the 50 people charged as part of the FBI’s Operations Varsity Blues, 33 were moms and dads, authorities explained, caution that the investigation is continuing and others could be charged.
Authorities said coaches in such sports as soccer, sailing, tennis, water polo and volleyball accepted bribes to put students on listings of employed athletes, regardless of their capability or experience. That, consequently, increased the students’ possibilities of admission.
Among the parents charged were Gordon Caplan of Greenwich, Connecticut, a co-chairman of an international law firm located in New York; Jane Buckingham, CEO of a boutique marketing company in Los Angeles; Gregory Abbott of New York, founder and chairman of a product packaging company; and Manuel Henriquez, CEO of a finance company located in Palo Alto, California.
The bribes allegedly came through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid William Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, nearly $25 million to get their children into college.
Prosecutors said Singer was planned to confess to charges including racketeering conspiracy.
John Vandemoer, the former head sailing coach at Stanford, was also likely to plead guilty Tuesday.
Loughlin, who was charged along with her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, made an appearance in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” whilst Huffman starred in ABC’s “Desparite Housewives.” Both were charged with scams and conspiracy.
Court documents said Huffman paid $15,000 that she concealed as a non-profit donation so that her daughter could participate in the college entrance-exam cheating scam.
Court documents said a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles residence and also explained to them that he “managed” a testing center and could have somebody confidentially change her daughter’s answers. The person explained to investigators that the couple agreed to the plan.
Macy was not charged; authorities did not say why.
Messages seeking comment from Huffman’s representative were not instantly came back. A spokeswoman for Loughlin had no comment.