Actress Felicity Huffman is also being charged in the nationwide college admissions cheating and recruitment scheme.
Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are two of more than 40 people charged in a $25M college exam cheating scandal, according to court documents unsealed on Tuesday. Those charged include nine coaches at elite schools, two SAT and ACT exam administrators, one exam proctor, a college administrator and 33 parents, including Huffman and Loughlin.
So much for the "wholesome" persona Loughlin is known for ... And Twitter has been having a heyday.
Ah, Aunt Becky, how the tables have turned. pic.twitter.com/kohi5bpp5w— Michael Anthony Adams (@MichaelAdams317) March 12, 2019
Aunt Becky...SMH pic.twitter.com/xAhBQzORGW— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 12, 2019
The FBI investigation, code-named Operation Varsity Blues, had been in the works for more than a year. The investigation revealed a cheating and recruitment scheme that involved wealthy individuals paying thousands of dollars to a man in California who then boosted their children's chances of getting into colleges by bribing college admissions officers and varsity coaches to get the applicants admitted under false pretenses that they were athletic recruits.
The schools included Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly agreed to pay bribes of $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted as recruits to the USC rowing team, even though they did not participate in the sport. According to court documents, Huffman paid a $15,000 "charitable contribution" to participate in the scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter.
"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud," said Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, in a news conference held Tuesday. "There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy and, I'll add, there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."
The man behind the conspiracy is allegedly William Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation. Singer had accepted bribes between 2011 and 2018.
"Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants -- principally individuals whose high-school-age children were applying to college -- conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children's admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California -- Los Angeles," stated the 200 page document that was filed on Tuesday.
Singer has been charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice.