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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of state of emergency this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

COVID-19: B.C. landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read