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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, nearly 50 people have been charged in a massive college entrance exam cheating and bribery plot including a number of high-profile CEOs, and Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
NBC News reports that the bust, code-named “Operation Varsity Blues,” netted parents, school administrators, coaches at both the high school and college levels, and standardized test administrators, who engaged in the practices of “getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams.”
In all, 33 parents including Loughlin and Huffman allegedly paid a collective sum of $25 million to a college admissions counselor named William Singer, according to ABC News, who then “bribed college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students secure admissions ‘not on their merits but through fraud.
In one case, ” the head women’s soccer coach at Yale was paid $400,000 to accept a student even though the applicant did not play soccer. The parents of that student had allegedly paid Singer $1.2 million.”
In other cases, Singer allegedly facilitated cheating on college entrance exams, asking parents to pay between $15,000 and $75,000 to have other students take the SATs and ACTs in place of their children. Once he received the money, the FBI contends, Singer allegedly used a professional test taker to either pose as the students, “provid[e] students with answers during the exams.
” or “correct their answers after they had completed the exams.”
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. She was arrested without incident at her home, the FBI said.
Her next court date has been set for March 29 in Boston. She is accused of paying $15,000 to William Rick Singer’s fake charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, to facilitate cheating for her daughter on the SATs, the complaint says.
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