According to recently unsealed court documents, dozens of well-off people were arrested in connection with a college admission scam, and among those charged were Hollywood celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The people charged were allegedly complicit in a bribery scheme, where they would pay a middleman service to get their children admitted into top universities.
According to ABC7, the suspects paid as much as $6 million to ensure their children were accepted into top institutions–including Georgetown, USC, Stanford, and Yale. It worked by either paying off college athletic coaches or SAT or ACT administrators. At the center is a Southern California college counseling service that reportedly facilitated the whole scheme. The authorities say that the parents would pay him a large sum of money and then he would funnel it over to the correct party to ensure the child’s acceptance.
The prosecutors reportedly have evidence that both Huffman and Loughlin willingly participated in this illegal program. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to “participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.” Loughlin, authorities say, paid $500,000 to have both her daughters recruited by USC’s crew team, even though neither are rowers.
There’s a bizarre irony irony to this story, which is that there are legal ways for rich people to get their children admitted into top universities. ProPublica has an enlightening story about how deep-pocketed parents–like Charles Kushner–have been known to make steep contributions to institutions right before their children got admitted. Thus how Jared Kushner is a Harvard alum.
If only Huffman and Loughlin knew the correct slimy way of wielding money to circumvent the merit-based college admission process. Perhaps they could have avoided this legal mess. Alas!