Federal prosecutors charged 50 wealthy parents on Tuesday, March 12 for their alleged involvement in a scam that saw their children admitted into some of the top U.S. colleges.
Celebrities Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli were just three of the 33 indicted parents.
“This case is about the widening corruption of elite-college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud,” said Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said at a press conference Tuesday.
“There can be no separate college-admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal-justice system either.”
The college admissions scheme saw parents get their kids into such prestigious schools as Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, and others.
The FBI alleged parents paid a college counseling business in Newport Beach, California known as “The Key,” which bribed coaches to accept students as recruits, and college adminstrators who helped students cheat on their college entrance exams.
William Singer, the founder of The Key, pleaded guilty to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government and obstruction of justice.
The FBI noted the students themselves were often unaware of the arrangements their parents had made. None of the students or the schools involved were charged.
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