I thought I’d heard it all in my six decades on this planet, but this latest story surprised even me! To learn just what the ‘privileged’ members of the Hollywood elite think they can get away with never ceases to amaze me.
Two beloved television actresses reportedly participated in a multi-million dollar scheme to help their children get into desirable colleges like Yale, Harvard, USC, and others - that they wouldn’t have normally qualified to attend.
Both ‘Desperate Housewives’ favorite Felicity Huffman and ‘Full House’ regular Lori Laughlin have been indicted for allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a ‘fixer’ to gain college admission for their daughters.
And, apparently, it’s a very sophisticated operation that relies on involvement from people at numerous levels, including college coaches and SAT administrators.
“Felicity Huffman, Lori Laughlin, NCAA D-1 college coaches, company CEOs and one college administrator have also been charged in the scandal, named ‘Operation Varsity Blues’.”
Two elite coaches who got caught up in the scandal and are expected to plead guilty are from Stanford and Georgetown.
“Stanford's longtime sailing coach John Vandemoer to plead guilty today to charges in connection with national college-admissions bribery scandal.“
“Former @Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst accused of accepting $2.7 mil in bribes labeled "consulting fees" to designate 12 applicants tennis recruits. Indictment says some did not play tennis competitively.”
But the mastermind behind the cheating businesses is named William Rick Singer. Under the guise of a ‘charitable foundation’ he founded, he collects ‘donations’ that end up being used to bribe University officials and others who play a part in the college admissions process.
“The alleged scam was reportedly unearthed after authorities found a California businessman who ran an operation helping students get into the college of their choice.
“Authorities say parents would pay the man a predetermined amount which he would funnel to an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach.”
Coaches would arrange fake profiles to portray student as an accomplished athlete; and ACT/SAT administrators would either hire someone to take the exam or have the proctor change the answers on the tests.
According to TMZ, “The feds said most parents paid between $200k and $400k for Singer's help. Some payments apparently went as high as $6.5 million. All told, they say investigators uncovered about $25 million in bribes.“
HUGE business out there that masterminds are getting extremely rich over.
“Prosecutors say the parents charged in massive college admissions scandal are a 'catalogue of wealth and privilege' — including real estate investors, a fashion designer, a global law firm's co-chairman and the actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin”
So, what EXACTLY did Huffman and Loughlin do in their cases? TMZ spells it out"
“As for Loughlin, she and her husband -- Mossimo Giannulli, the founder of Mossimo clothing -- allegedly paid $500,000 to have their 2 daughters designated as recruits for the crew team at USC ... despite the fact they did not actually participate in crew.
“However, the feds say Mossimo [who has also been charged in the scheme] sent action photos of their daughters on rowing machines.”
Felicity Huffman, who is married to actor William H. Macy (who was NOT indicted) went the other route to get their oldest daughter ‘in.’
“She and her husband, William H. Macy, allegedly made a charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in a college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of their eldest daughter.
“The indictment says the daughter was given twice the amount of time to take the SAT as other students and the paid proctor agreed to secretly correct her answers afterwards.
“The indictment says the girl received a score of 1420 on her SAT ... an improvement of approximately 400 points over her PSAT.”
And the damning evidence that eventually got them arrested came out of their own mouths!!
“According to the [court documents], the FBI recorded phone calls in which Loughlin and Huffman talked about the scheme with a witness who was cooperating with authorities.”
The irony in this whole story is that, in most cases, the children who were the beneficiaries of the scam were unaware that their parents went to such lengths to get them admitted to a ‘good’ college.
They probably just thought they ‘deserved’ it…