A $500 billion civil lawsuit has been filed in California by a parent in the largest college admissions scandal ever pursued by the Department of Justice in U.S. history, Reuters reported.
Jennifer Kay Toy said she believes her son, Joshua, was not granted admission to some colleges because of some wealthy parents who believe it was "OK to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children's way into a good college," according to the lawsuit. The single mother said her son had a 4.2 GPA in high school.
Toy, a former teacher from Oakland, claims that the defendants in the case defrauded and caused emotional distress to all whose "rights to a fair chance at entrance to college" were taken away by the alleged scam.
"I'm not a wealthy person, but even if I were wealthy I would not have engaged in the heinous and despicable actions of defendants. I'm outraged and hurt because I feel that my son, my only child, was denied access to a college not because he failed to work and study hard enough, but because wealthy individuals felt that it was OK to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children's way into a good college," Toy wrote in the lawsuit, according to KGO-TV.
What's the backstory?
Forty-five defendants, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, have been named in the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in San Francisco.
Federal prosecutors accused 50 people of participating in the scheme that was allegedly masterminded by William "Rick" Singer. More than two dozen parents, coaches, college administrators have been criminally charged for their roles in the suspected crimes. Investigators dubbed the scheme "Operation Varsity Blues."
Singer's California-based charity raked in about $25 million charging parents to secure their children admission into elite universities including Stanford, Yale, UCLA, Georgetown, and others, according to prosecutors.
On Tuesday, Singer, 58, pleaded guilty in Boston to charges of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Toy did not say if any colleges admitted her only child. Her lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.