Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and Full House mainstay Lori Loughlin are among 50 individuals charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in relation to an alleged fraud scheme to secure admissions for students at elite American universities.
Prosecutors said parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 until 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.
Others facing charges are the former women's soccer coach at Yale, the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California, the women's volleyball coach at Wake Forest University, and the sailing coach at Stanford.
They paid a bogus charity run by Californian William Singer millions both to arrange for people to fix SAT and ACT entrance exams for their children, and also to bribe university sports coaches to recruit their children, even when the children were not qualified to play at that level of sports. The children, generally, did not realize their admission was due to a bribe.
Singer is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday in Boston federal court to charges, including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to court papers.
Loughlin and Huffman were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Macy was pictured Tuesday visiting Huffman in the federal building in Los Angeles where she is being questioned. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 for her oldest daughter and began the process for her second child but ultimately abandoned the plan because she was anxious a fixed score would "set off alarm bells".
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Parents paid tens of thousands of dollars for his services, which were masked as charitable contributions, prosecutors said.
"Full House" actress Lori Loughlin and "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman were among dozens charged in a college admissions scam.
Several colleges have already released their statements claiming they were "victims" of the bribery scheme, Fox News reported earlier.
The co-operator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan".
None of the students involved were charged as many were not aware of the scam, authorities said.
Representatives for those companies and for Huffman and Loughlin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.