BOSTON (CN) — Coaches at Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Wake Forest University were hit with federal charges Tuesday in a sweeping admissions bribery case.
In addition to the coaches, the indictment names Hollywood actors, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, as well as multiple chief executives as those who paid bribes.
“Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants — principally individuals whose high-school age children were applying to college — conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California — Los Angeles,” the indictment states.
Fifty people are charged in total, with about 200 pages of documents unsealed this morning.
Huffman, who starred on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” is alleged to have made a $15,000 charitable contribution “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.”
“Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so,” the charging documents say.
Huffman is married to actor William H. Macy, though he is not named in the case. As for the actress best known as Aunt Becky on “Full House,” another ABC program, prosecutors say Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.
Prosecutors say parents paid an admissions consultant $25 million from 2011 through February 2019 to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into schools.
Prosecutors allege that fake athletic profiles were also made to make students look like strong high school athletes when they actually weren’t.
Authorities say the consulting company also bribed administrators of college entrance exams to allow a Florida man to take the tests on behalf of students or replace their answers with his.
This story is developing. The Associated Press contributed to this article.