Actresses Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin charged in college admissions bribery scheme

Prosecutors said parents paid a U.S. admissions consultant to bribe coaches and administrator

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with at least 40 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centres to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, prosecutors said.

“These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the $25 million federal bribery case.

Those charged included several athletic coaches.

Prosecutors said parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes, to alter test scores and to have others take online classes to boost their children’s chances of getting into schools.

“For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected,” Lelling said.

The racketeering conspiracy charges were brought against coaches at schools including Wake Forest, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles.

Lelling said it was the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

Authorities said coaches in such sports as soccer, tennis and volleyball accepted bribes to put students on lists of recruited athletes, regardless of their ability or experience.

The bribes allegedly came through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid the founder of the Edge College & Career Network approximately $25 million to get their children into college.

Loughlin appeared in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” and Huffman starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” Both were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Court documents said Huffman paid $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation, so her daughter could partake in the college entrance cheating scam.

Court papers said a co-operating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The co-operator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse “agreed to the plan.”

Messages seeking comment with representatives for Huffman and Loughlin were not immediately returned.

Alanna Durkin Richer And Collin Binkley, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Victoria man finds out his song will be featured on American Idol after a rough morning

Mike Edel’s song ‘The Finish Line’ was featured on the hit show

West Shore RCMP, Search and Rescue, Langford Fire continue search for missing Langford man

31-year-old Joshua Bennett of Langford went missing on March 9

Saanich councillor questions why Victoria Mayor Helps would shut out public from amalgamation deliberations

Coun. Judy Brownoff says Saanich puts “high standard” on public engagement, openness and transparency.

Victoria-Saanich amalgamation discussions won’t be open to the public

The upcoming citizens’ assembly meetings will be held in camera

Red-tailed hawk’s own bill is killing him

‘Most birds with this syndrome will starve to death without treatment’

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Most Read