At least 40 people — including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman — have been charged in a massive college-entrance scheme, according to NBC. Court documents unsealed Tuesday revealed a pricey scam to get students admitted to elite universities — namely Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale — as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic ability. The suspects paid bribes of a few thousand dollars up to $6 million, without the admitted students knowing.
Prosecutors in Boston federal court allege that Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy (he was not charged on Tuesday), “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 … to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter. Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so,” according to ABC 7 News in San Francisco. All of the payments were purportedly for charity. Loughlin and her husband “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team.” Neither of Loughlin’s two daughters participated in crew.
The scam was allegedly run by a man in California who ran a college-counseling agency nicknamed “the Key.” The service would accept payments from parents and direct their money to an SAT or ACT administrator, or a college athletic coach. Coaches would fabricate the student’s athletic history, exam administrators would correct the student’s exam, or a proctor take the college admissions test instead.
According to NBC, 44 people have been charged.