Actresses, Business Leaders, Wealthy Parents Charged in Largest College Admissions Scandal in History
A total of 50 people nationwide were arrested in what police are calling the largest college admissions scandal and recruitment scheme ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
The scandal involved wealthy parents, prominent business leaders, and Hollywood celebrities – including TV actress Lori Loughlin who was among the 50 arrested individuals. Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was also arrested. Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 for guaranteed admission for their two daughters to USC.
Felicity Huffman, an Academy Award nominee, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court paperwork filed Monday in federal court in Massachusetts.
William E. McGlashan Jr., a prominent partner at the private equity firm TPG, illegally stated that his son had learning disabilities in order to gain extended time for him to take his college entrance exam alone, over two days instead of one, according to court documents. McGlashan’s son was unaware of the scheme, according to court documents.
Thirty-three parents were charged in the case and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come. According to federal prosecutors, all of the individuals charged knowingly conspired to help their children either cheat on the SAT or ACT and or buy their children’s admissions to elite American universities through fraud.
Also implicated were top college coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit students to Wake Forest, Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California and other schools, regardless of their academic or sports ability, officials said.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling spoke on the investigation during a news conference on Thursday. According to Lelling, these parents created an unfair admissions process for their children, potentially taking away opportunities from other hard-working students.
“This scandal reveals just how far parents are willing to go to give their kids an edge in the highly competitive world that is university admissions. Sadly it also shows the level of corruption that exists in some educational institutions in this country,” stated Steven Baric, a former Orange County District Attorney. “It appears that the FBI has conducted a through investigation, but it is important to remember all of these people are innocent until proven guilty.”
At the center of the sweeping financial crime and fraud case was William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key.
The authorities said Singer, who has agreed to plead guilty to the charges and cooperated with federal prosecutors, used The Key and its nonprofit arm, Key Worldwide Foundation in Newport Beach, CA, to help students cheat on their standardized tests, and to pay bribes to the coaches who could get them into college with fake athletic credentials.
Singer is also accused of bribing Division 1 athletic coaches to tell admissions officers that they wanted certain students, even though the students did not have the necessary athletic credentials.
The 50 suspects were accused of paying bribes up to $6 million. However, Singer was paid roughly $25 million total by parents to help their children get into schools.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of fraud, contact us today at (800) 674-7854 for a free, no-obligation consultation. With a team of highly trained, experienced attorneys, we know what it takes to fight for your right to a fair compensation.