On Tuesday, it was reported that Desperate Housewives alum Felicity Huffman was indicted a new college admissions bribery case that reportedly involves more than 40 people, including Full House actor Lori Loughlin. As of Tuesday afternoon, the story is still developing but this is what we’ve learned, including why Huffman was indicted and what she has been charged with.
Variety reported that this case involves more than 30 parents who paid varying sums between $200,000 and $6.5 million to ensure that their children would be admitted to elite colleges like Georgetown, UCLA, USC, Stanford and Yale. Variety also reports nine coaches were involved in accepting bribe payments as well and that scheme even involved faking SAT and ACT test scores in order to get the children admitted into these schools.
According to E! News, Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The FBI affidavit that was obtained by E! News states that Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy, allegedly made a contribution of approximately $15,000 in order to participate in this admissions scheme. The affidavit also states that Huffman “later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
The FBI affidavit notes this scheme began in 2011. CNN reports the scheme was apparently broken up into two parts. Parents would pay a college prep organization to take entrance exams like the SAT or ACT on behalf of their children or correct their answers. The other part involved this same organization allegedly bribing coaches to accept prospective students into their athletic programs, regardless of their athletic ability.
It is unclear when or how exactly celebrities like Huffman and Loughlin got involved. Huffman also hasn’t released a statement in the wake of initial reports about the case. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Huffman, Loughlin and a handful of others were brought into custody on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles and will make their initial court appearances in the afternoon.
As reported by Variety, special agent Joseph R. Bonavolonta, who is in charge of the Boston FBI office said in a statement that “today’s arrests should be a warning to others. You can’t pay to play. You can’t lie and cheat to get ahead.”
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling added to Bonavolonta’s statement, stating that “these parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admission through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud.”