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March 12, 2019

FBI Brings RICO Charges Against "Massive" College-Admissions Rigging Conspiracy;
Actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman Charged With Paying to Get Their Kids Cheated Into Schools

To be honest, my faith in the "Incorruptible Straight-Arrows of the FBI" is near-zero, and I don't know if I could sit on any jury involving a case the FBI developed.

But this is what the Incorruptible Straight-Arrows are claiming, and I'm sure there's no overcharging, trumping-up, or publicity-seeking going on here.

Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among 50 people charged in a $25 million college entrance exam cheating scheme, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The alleged scam focused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment unsealed in Boston.

Authorities said the FBI investigation, code-named Operation Varsity Blues, uncovered a network of wealthy parents who paid thousands of dollars to a California man who boosted their childrens' chances of gaining entrance into elite colleges, such as Yale and Stanford, by paying people to take tests for their children, bribing test administrators to allow it to happen, and bribing college coaches and administrators to identify the applicants as athletes.

"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud," said U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

"There can be no separate college admission for wealthy, and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."

...

Loughlin allegedly told the cooperating witness that she would arrange for her daughter to be photographed on a rowing machine to bolster the false claim on the application to USC that her daughter was the crew coxswain for the L.A. Marine Club team, according to court papers.

...

Loughlin, who is currently out of the country, is not yet in custody but is expected to surrender, according to a U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the matter. Elizabeth Much, a representative for Loughlin, told NBC News she had no comment.

Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 for getting one of her daughters unlimited time for her SAT test. The actress also explored a plan to boost the test scores of a second daughter, according to court papers.

She and her husband (who is for some reason not charged) decided against hiring a "ringer" to take the test in the guise of their daughter, but not due to any ethical qualms, just due to the practical problem of explaining how a low-scoring student suddenly gets a high score just two months later.








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