A federal court in Boston charged 50 people on Tuesday, including famous Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin, for allegedly paying bribes to get their children accepted into top higher educational institutions.
According to The New York Times, among those indicted by the court were 33 parents, nine college athletic coaches, two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor and one college administrator. Some of those accused have been charged with racketeering conspiracy for taking bribes and fraudulently granting students admission in top schools like Yale, Stanford and others.
The court documents allege Laughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli of paying $500,000 in bribes in exchange for their two daughters being designated as recruits to the University of South California crew team, a sport neither of them played.
Meanwhile, Huffman has been accused of paying $15,000 to to William Rick Singer‘s fake charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, for someone to cheat for her daughter on the SATs, according to court documents.
“Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants — principally individuals whose high-school age children were applying to college — conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California — Los Angeles,” the indictment reads.
Singer, the founder of Edge College & Career Network which facilitated cheating in standardized tests, used his non-profit to accept roughly $25 million from parents and wire bribes to coaches who were part of the scheme.
The operation as a whole, termed “Operation Varsity Blues,” the largest-ever college admissions prosecution undertaken by the Justice Department, involved 200 agents across the country.