Felicity Huffman: Desperate Housewives star charged in exam cheating scheme
Wednesday 13/March/2019 - 03:37 PM
Felicity Huffman (left) and Lori Loughlin (right)
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is among more than 40 people charged in a US college cheating scam، according to unsealed court records, bbc news reported.
The alleged scheme involved helping students cheat on entrance exams، as well as getting non-athletic students admitted on fake athletic scholarships.
Elite schools Yale، Stanford and Georgetown were among the destination universities.
There was no suggestion that the schools were involved in wrongdoing.
Who was a part of the alleged scam? The defendants are largely wealthy and also include CEOs of major companies.
"These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege،" said US Attorney Andrew Lelling at a news conference about the investigation known as Operation Varsity Blues on Tuesday.
According to the charging documents، Ms Huffman made a "charitable contribution" of $15،000 (£11،500) to participate in the scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.
She allegedly arranged to use the scheme a second time، for her younger daughter، before deciding not to do so.
Ms Huffman was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She was secretly recorded discussing the scheme with a co-operating witness.
The papers said the co-operating witness met Ms Huffman and her husband، the actor William H Macy، at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The witness said the pair "agreed to the plan". Mr Macy was not indicted.
Ms Huffman appeared in a Los Angeles court later on Tuesday and was released on $250،000 bail. The judge ordered the actress to restrict her travel to the continental US.
Mr Macy also attended court. The actress Lori Loughlin، best known for starring in the US sitcom Full House، was among those indicted. She has not yet been taken into custody.
Ms Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli - who was also indicted - "agreed to pay bribes totalling $500،000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits" to the University of Southern California (USC) rowing team، the documents said. Both their daughters are currently studying at USC.
Indicted US actress' daughters in spotlight Federal prosecutors in Boston charged William "Rick" Singer، 58، with running the alleged scheme through his company Edge College & Career Network.
Mr Singer pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Boston federal court to charges including racketeering، money laundering، and obstruction of justice. He could see a maximum of 65 years in prison and over $1m in fines.
He told the court: "I am responsible. I put all the people in place،" local news site Mass Live reported.
According to the FBI، athletics coaches at various institutions were also involved in the scheme - recommending the fraudulent applicants internally and pocketing bribes in return.
The head women's football coach at Yale University was allegedly paid $400،000 to accept a student who did not even play the sport - and those parents gave Mr Singer $1.2m for arranging the bribe.
"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth، combined with fraud،" Mr Lelling said.
"There can be no separate college admission for wealthy، and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."
In all، 33 parents were charged as well as 13 athletics coaches and associates of Mr Singer's business.