College admissions cheating scheme: 3 freaky details from the complaint

Felicity Huffman in Desperate Housewives

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among almost 50 people indicted in a widespread college admission bribery scandal, authorities announced Tuesday.

In all, 50 people were charged: 33 parents who paid to give their children undeserved entry into high-end college life; 13 university sports coaches and test organisation operators; and Singer and three others who operated the fraudulent scheme.

Some of the most prestigious and exclusive higher-education facilities in America, including Stanford University, Yale University, and UCLA, were allegedly targeted by the scheme.

William "Rick" Singer, 58, pleaded guilty to a variety of charges for organizing the scheme, which investigators dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues".

"The Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by its former women's soccer coach", Yale said in a statement. Charges faced by those prosecuted include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Parents charged in the alleged scheme are accused of paying an admissions consultant, William Singer, a total of $25 million between 2011 and February 2019 for the arrangement.

Huffman did get some support Tuesday from playwright and longtime friend David Mamet.

"Mostly my parents really wanted me to go, because both of them didn't go to college", she said.

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The applicants' athletic credentials were falsified with the help of staged photographs of them playing sports, or doctored photos in which their faces were pasted onto the bodies of genuine athletes, authorities said. Stanford fired the sailing coach, and USC dropped its water polo coach and an athletic administrator.

Huffman was taken into custody without incident in Los Angeles this morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation told Inside Edition, while an arrest warrant was served this morning at Loughlin's residence but she was not home. Court document allege the couple paid $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither is a rower.

Court papers said a cooperating witness met with Ms Huffman and Macy at their Los Angeles home and explained to them that he "controlled" a testing centre and could have somebody secretly change her daughter's answers.

Indeed, Loughlin's daughter, Olivia Giannulli, made headlines past year when she bragged on YouTube that she was going to college to party and likely would not have much time for classes. Macy was mentioned in the case but not charged.

Representatives for the companies and Huffman and Loughlin either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment. Giannulli was released on a $1 million bond.

These include alleged bribes to get their kids into the USC women's volleyball program, another to the water polo team, a fake ACT score that gave one student a 34 out of a possible 36, fabricating tennis rankings to get one student into Georgetown, fake test proctors, former National Football League spouses drawing tests ruses and a whole litany of allegations.

If a student can't get into a university through entrance requirements, there are often backdoor ways from rich parents. "I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else".

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