Actresses charged in nationwide college admission scandal

SAN DIEGO —  Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were among 50 arrested following a nationwide college admissions scam, authorities announced Tuesday.

The purpose of the alleged scam was to help student athletes get into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic ability, according to the indictment. It alleges that a third party took the ACT and SAT college entrance exams in place of students. The documents also allege that some defendants created fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes and get them into college.

The investigation involved alumni and aspiring student athletes at University of San Diego, UCLA, USC, Georgetown University, Stanford University, University of Texas, Wake Forest and Yale.

The indictment in US District Court in Massachusetts alleges that a third party took the ACT and SAT college entrance exams in place of students. The documents also allege that some defendants created fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes and get them into college.

The 50 suspects were accused of paying bribes up to $6 million.

Loughlin and her husband, both indicted, allegedly paid $500,000 for guaranteed admission for their two daughters to USC, ABC reported.

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. A law enforcement source confirms to CNN that the actress has been arrested in Los Angeles.

Among Loughlin and Huffman, CEOs, coaches and administrators were also indicted.

Much of the indictment revolves around William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college counseling and preparation business known as “The Key.”

As laid out in the indictment, Singer allegedly paid college coaches to claim that a prospective student should be accepted to college because the student was a recruit for their sports team. However, Singer and the coaches knew that the student was not a competitive player and that his or her athletic profile was fake, the indictment said.

“We are aware of the ongoing wide-ranging criminal investigation involving universities nationwide, including USC. USC has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation. We understand that the government believes that illegal activity was carried out by individuals who went to great lengths to conceal their actions from the university. USC is conducting an internal investigation and will take employment actions as appropriate. USC is in the process of identifying any funds received by the university and in connection with this alleged scheme, additionally, the University is reviewing its admissions processes broadly to ensure that such actions do not occur going forward,” the university said in a statement.

This story is developing and will be updated. 

 

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