Celebrities, business leaders charged in U.S. college fraud scheme

Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills Calif. on Feb. 27 2018 left and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angel

Since 2011, Singer has allegedly also been bribing coaches and university administrators to falsely designate applicants as potential athlete recruits or assign them other preferential designations that improve their chances of acceptance. The children, generally, did not realize their admission was due to a bribe.

The plot allegedly involved parents paying bribes of up to $6 million, ABC News reported, in order to get their children into elite schools.

Coaches from Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, USC, Wake Forest and other schools were allegedly involved. Prosecutors alleged that the organization "bribed college coaches to help admit the students into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their actual ability", according to CNN. A confidential informant told investigators that he told Huffman he could arrange for a third party to correct her daughter's answers on the SAT after she took it.

Huffman, Loughlin and dozens of wealthy executives and lawyers were charged with participating in a "large-scale, elaborate fraud" to create a "rigged system" at prominent colleges like Yale, USC, Stanford and UCLA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

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In addition to her Instagram page, with more than one million followers, Olivia Giannulli, 19, manages a YouTube channel with almost two million subscribers.

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, Stanford University's head sailing coach and a Sacramento-area businessman were all named in a sweeping nation-wide admissions bribery case unsealed in Boston federal court.

Mossimo Guannulli and Loughlin were among almost 50 charged in the $25m scheme which involved families paying their way into elite schools including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford, along with USC.

Much of the indictment revolves around William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college counseling and preparation business known as "The Key".

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Huffman, an Academy Award nominee, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court paperwork filed Monday in federal court in MA. When federal agents went to the actress' Los Angeles home on Tuesday morning, she was not there.

Several schools, including USC and Yale, said they were victims themselves of the scam. Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, was not.

The complaint alleges that the children of a cooperating witnesses' clients submitted fraudulently obtained exam scores as part of their applications to universities around the country, which included Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern.

"Some simply never showed up" to play, Lelling said of the students.

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In many cases, the students were not aware that their parents had arranged for the cheating, prosecutors said, although in other cases they knowingly took part.

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