Actresses Caught In College Tuition Scam

Posted: Mar 12, 2019 1:00 PM
Actresses Caught In College Tuition Scam

Source: Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Update II:

The FBI says that that Loughlin has been taken into custody. Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says that the actress was arrested Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court in the afternoon.


The scandal has since earned the nick name "Operation Varsity Blues." The title is a reference to the 1999 coming of age drama "Varsity Blues." The star of the film, James Van Der Beek, took the operation's nick name as an opportunity to have a bit of fun at the parents' expense.

Van Der Beek is referencing a quote from the film during a confrontation between the protagonist and his father.

Original Post

This Tuesday, court records revealed more than four dozen people were changed in a college admissions cheating scandal. The accused were mostly wealthy individuals who paid up to $6.5 million to place their kids in elite universities. Among those caught were actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

The discovery of the alleged scam is the conclusion of a year's investigation by government officials. The alleged scam was run by Californian William Rick Singer, who helped wealthy parents enter their children into the colleges through bribery. Singer, who ran the Key Worldwide Foundation charity, is expected to plead guilty to racketeering, as the charity was being used as a front for the scam.

"This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat to the system so they could set their children up for success with the best money can buy," Joseph Bonavolta from the FBI Boston Field Police said in a news conference on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has stated that it "appears that the schools are not involved" in the scam. However, several SAT and ACT administrators were, as the bribe money went directly to them to make a fake profile of the student.

"There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy and there will not be a separate criminal justice system either," Lelling said. "We're not talking about donating a building so a school is more likely to take your son or daughter, we're talking about deception and fraud."

Felicity Huffman (of "Desperate Housewives" fame) reportedly gave $15,000 to make sure her daughter got past the entrance exams. The documents say that she "later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so."

The documents also report that Loughlin ("Full House") and her husband "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team -- despite the fact that they did not participate in the crew -- thereby facilitating their admission to USC."

Lelling has stated that the investigation is ongoing and there could be more parents and schools involved.