Parents, coaches, actresses among 50 charged in USA college cheating scandal

Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Charged in College Admission Scam

The Hollywood stars allegedly joined CEOs of private and public companies, real estate professionals and a fashion designer in paying up to $6 million in bribes to ensure that their children were accepted to schools such as Harvard and Georgetown.

Rudy Meredith, who resigned last fall as the winningest women's soccer coach in Yale University history, was among nine coaches indicted. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said those involved paid Singer $25 million total as part of the scheme.

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.

According to documents which have been unsealed, as reported by the BBC, Felicity Huffman made a "charitable contribution" of $15,000 (£11.5k) on behalf of her eldest daughter.

It added: "Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so".

According to newly released court documents, the alleged mastermind of the scam was William Rick Singer, who operated a college preparation business in Newport Beach, California.

Most of the parents paid $250,000 to $400,000 per student.

Federal authorities charged almost 50 people based on information gained from three cooperating witnesses.

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Both actresses were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.

This was either a coach, who would falsely admit the student as an athlete, or an administrator of the SATs or ACTs.

Because the con included around parents getting their children recruited as athletes, a number of college coaches have been charged as well. Then, Singer paid Mark Riddell, another defendant, to bribe the two exam administrators, prosecutors said.

Federal court records unsealed Tuesday in Boston name 50 people who have been indicted as part of the nationwide scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in MA.

"The coaches would allegedly arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete, and exam administrators would either hire proctors to take the test or correct the answers of a student".

Neither Huffman nor Loughlin have commented.

The FBI said 13 defendants have been taken into custody in the Los Angeles area, including Huffman.