Authorities charged dozens of people from affluent backgrounds in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam, according to Monday reports.
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are just two of the women involved in the alleged scam. Police arrested Huffman on Monday and took her into federal custody. Loughlin has yet to be taken into custody.
What are the details?
Others involved in the scam also include parents, college coaches, administrators, and more. About 50 people were charged in connection with the scheme. The bust is reportedly the biggest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted in the U.S.
Law enforcement arrested 13 people in Los Angeles in connection with the scheme. The FBI said that 38 of the 50 people charged have been arrested and are in custody. Seven are reportedly working toward surrender, and authorities are actively pursuing another person in Hawaii.
Authorities dubbed the scheme "Operation Varsity Blues."
The scam was reportedly intended to secure placement for wealthy people's children through bribes, through a nationwide network. Thirty-three of those arrested were parents, and more than $25 million was allegedly funneled into bribing schools for admissions.
William Singer, a college admissions counselor, pleaded guilty for his role in the scam and agreed to cooperate in the investigation. If convicted, Singer faces a maximum of 65 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said that there were two large parts of the scam. The first part included parents who reportedly paid a college preparation business to take important tests on the behalf of students. The second part involved the organization reportedly bribing college coaches to push through the kids' admissions as collegiate athletes, despite the students' abilities.
Coaches from Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, Wake Forest University, the University of Southern California, and more were implicated in the federal indictment. The crimes purportedly took place between 2011 and 2019.
What is being said about this?
Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the state of Massachusetts, said that the parents arrested in the ring were from a "catalog of wealth and privilege."
"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud," Lelling explained. "There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I'll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either."
The U.S. attorney added, "For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected."
In a statement, a spokesperson for the NCAA said, "The charges brought forth today are troubling and should be a concern for all of higher education. We are looking into these allegations to determine the extent to which NCAA rules may have been violated."
Authorities said that they are considering charges against the students as well.
"It's not an accident that there are no students charged in these charging documents," Lelling explained. "The parents, the other defendants, are clearly the prime movers of this fraud, it remains to be seen whether we charge any of the students."