On Mar. 19, 2019, news broke that wealthy families had been bribing and scamming their children into elite universities.
William Singer was the mastermind behind the whole scandal with a charity called Key Worldwide Foundation, which was a front for parents to wire him money. Singer allegedly set up for other people to take the ACT and SAT Tests for their children and even recruited students for sports teams when they did not even play the sport.
According to ABC News, Singer, “allegedly accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 ‘to guarantee their children’s admission to elite schools.’’’ Singer guaranteed admission into schools such as Yale, USC, UCLA, Georgetown, Stanford, USD, University of Texas, and Wake Forest.
The scandal was exposed after Morrie Tobin, a financial executive was investigated for financial fraud. Tobin took a plea deal and in exchange, revealed information which led, “to a soccer coach at Yale University, who, in turn, pointed them to William “Rick” Singer, the college admissions consultant who would confess to being the mastermind of the admissions racket,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
A few parents involved in the scandal include Gordon Caplan, Manuel Henriquez, Gregory Colburn, and Bruce Isackson.
However, the most notable celebrities caught in the scam are actresses Felicity Huffman, one of the stars of the 2004-2012 television drama, “Desperate Housewives,” and Lori Loughlin who is well known for her role as Aunt Becky in “Full House.” Loughlin, according to the indictment, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew teams – despite the fact that they did not participate in Crew.”
Loughlin’s youngest daughter, YouTuber Olivia Jade, has lost multiple partnerships with big companies such as Sephora and TRESemme, while Loughlin has been fired from the Hallmark Channel.
Both Huffman and Loughlin have posted bond.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling believes, “there can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either. The real victims in this case are the hardworking students.”
Helix Charter College Counselor Cathy Singer shared her viewpoint on the scandal, saying “money assists people to get away with many wrong actions. I think the story has become an issue because it involves Hollywood.” “I am ashamed of my colleagues in the private sector, but I also know that there are more good private college counselors than despicable ones. I am glad they got caught, I do not think anything is going to change, but I have seen college admissions officers becoming more aware of closely evaluating their offers of admission and many colleges have gone back to review their admissions for the last few years. I still believe that people who work hard can be admitted to highly selective colleges on their own merit and that hard work pays off.”
As for the parents, their court dates will come soon, and we will update our readership with any new information that is released.