FBI charges TV celebrities in college bribery scheme

FBI charges TV celebrities in college bribery scheme

BOSTON- The Associated Press
FBI charges TV celebrities in college bribery scheme

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged on March 12 in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation's most selective schools.

At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance, fashion, the food and beverage industry and other fields, were charged. Dozens, including Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," were arrested by midday.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

Huffman, 56, appeared in a Los Angeles courthouse and was released after posting a $250,000 bond.

No students were charged, with authorities saying that in many cases the teenagers were unaware of what was going on.

The central figure in the scheme was identified as admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network of Newport Beach, California. He pleaded guilty, as did Stanford's John Vandemoer.

Prosecutors said that parents paid Singer big money from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes to boost their chances of getting accepted. The consultant also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students' answers.

college, scheme, bribe