Felicity Huffman & Lori Loughlin Charged in College Exam Cheating Scandal

Bessie Dean
March 13, 2019

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 people charged by USA federal prosecutors on Tuesday in a $25 million scheme to help wealthy Americans cheat their children's way into elite universities, such as Yale and Stanford.

They are facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Boston's U.S. attorney Andrew Lelling warned that the investigation is ongoing and others could be charged.

"What is going to happen when they see his application, he'll be flagged as an athlete", one of Singer's people told William McGlashan, an executive at the huge investment group TPG Capital, who wanted to get his son in a certain school.

Officials say Operation Varsity Blues is only about a year old, but the case authorities were working on when the initial tip about the scheme came out is unknown. When federal agents went to the actress' Los Angeles home on Tuesday morning, she was not there.

Some 33 parents were charged, as well as 13 coaches and associates of Singer's business.

Singer entered a guilty plea to racketeering and other charges Tuesday in federal court.

Neither actress could be immediately reached for comment, according to NBC News.

A third cooperating witness who began working with prosecutors in February 2019 was identified as Mark Riddell, the director of college entrance exam preparation at a private college preparatory school and sports academy in Bradenton, Florida.

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Loughlin and Huffman (as well as Macy) have yet to issue a statement or comment upon the charges.

Huffman starred on the ABC hit show "Desperate Housewives". Loughlin, who was in the ABC sitcom "Full House" and the recent Netflix sequel "Fuller House", is married to clothing company founder Mossimo Giannulli, who was also charged in the scheme.

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.

Prosecutors said it was up to the universities what to do with students admitted through cheating.

In this case, however, the scheme either had someone take the test for the students, or someone fixed their tests to ensure high scores that would get them into highly desireable universities.

Mr Lelling said it was the largest college admissions scam to be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

The coach, Rudolph Meredith, resigned in November after 24 years running the women's soccer team.

According to the New York Post, so far more than 40 people have been indicted in the scam that allegedly allowed their spawn to pose as student-athletes to get into Georgetown, Stanford, Wake Forest University, UCLA and Yale.

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