Live Updates: Ringleader pleads guilty in $25 million nationwide college admissions cheating scam

ABC News | 3/12/2019 | Staff
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Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and a slew of chief executives are among 50 wealthy people charged in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, federal officials said Tuesday.

Those indicted in the investigation, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," allegedly paid bribes of up to $6.5 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said.

Case - Corruption - College - Admissions - Application

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

Felicity Huffman in Beverly Hills on Feb 19, 2019 in Los Angeles. | Lori Loughlin,in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 28, 2019.

College - Admissions - System - Wealthy - Justice

"There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy and, I'll add, there will not be a separate criminal justice system either," Lelling said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, a presidential candidate and a former school teacher, expressed outrage over the scandal in an interview Tuesday with ABC News.

Warren - Example - Care

"This is just stunning," Warren said. "To me this is just one more example of how the rich and powerful know how to take care of their own."

According to Lelling, the ringleader of the scam is William Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation and a company called Edge College & Career Network. Singer allegedly accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 "to guarantee their children's admission to elite schools," Lelling said.





Parents - Catalog - Wealth - Privilege

'The parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege'

Singer of Newport Beach, California, pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court on Tuesday on charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice, Lelling said.

Steven - Masera - Accountant

Steven Masera, 69, the accountant and...
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