College Admissions-Bribery

This combination photo shows actress Lori 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 Angeles on Sept. 17, 2018. Loughlin and Huffman are among at least 40 people indicted in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in indictments unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Boston. (AP Photo)

BOSTON (AP) — 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 centers to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, prosecutors said.

"These parents are a catalog 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.

Georgetown

In this July 10, 2013, file photo, prospective students tour Georgetown University's campus in Washington. Federal authorities have charged college coaches and others in a sweeping admissions bribery case in federal court. The racketeering conspiracy charges were unsealed Tuesday, March 12, 2019, against the coaches at schools including Georgetown, Wake Forest University and the University of Southern California. Authorities say the coaches accepted bribes in exchange for admitting students as athletes, regardless of their ability. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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 cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan."

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

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