San Diegans indicted in nationwide college admissions scandal

Lori Loughlin felicity huffman college admission scandal

Coaches, CEOs and celebrities are caught up in allegations that bribes were paid to get their children into top schools, including Yale, Stanford, USC, the University of Texas and Georgetown.

Loughlin, best known for her role in the sitcom "Full House", and Huffman, best known for her role on TV's "Desperate Housewives", were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.

Niki Williams, 44, an assistant high school teacher in Houston, who works as a test administrator for both the College Board and ACT, Inc., is accused of accepting bribes to allow Mark Riddell of Palmetto, Fla.to secretly take ACT and SAT tests in place of the children of Singer's clients or to replace their exam responses with his own.

Lelling said in most cases, the students had no idea their parents were allegedly paying bribes to get them admitted.

USC President Wanda Austin addressed her university's involvement in a nationwide college admissions cheating, bribery and recruitment scheme.

Federal authorities have charged 50 people - including two Hollywood actresses - a former soccer coach and a California businessman, in the largest college admission scam ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, involving millions of dollars, an indictment unsealed Tuesday said. Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among those charged in the scheme.

Huffman, an Academy Award nominee, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court paperwork filed Monday in federal court in MA. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan".

The student would then take the test with one of Singer's paid-off administrators at locations in Houston and California, where his proctors would then change answers as needed to boost the scores. The extensive court documents released on Tuesday noted Loughlin's payment to Singer was disguised as a "charitable contribution".

Those charged included several athletic coaches. Representatives for Loughlin had no comment.

Lelling also charged 33 parents with involvement in the plot. Prosecutors allege that fake athletic profiles were created to give the false impression that applicants were student athletes (in many cases, the applicants had no athletic merit).

William "Rick" Singer, the Newport Beach man who was the founder of the college consulting nonprofit The Key Worldwide Foundation, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to conspiracy to commit racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.

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