Fifty people, nationwide, including Hollywood heavy hitters Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy and Lori Loughlin, have been arrested in a sting by the FBI, which involved a large-scale university admissions scam to get affluent students accepted into elite universities by helping them cheat on college entrance exams.
This new controversial scheme, however, not only allowed these parents to create fake college exam scores but some students, who were not athletes, were admitted under fake athletic scholarships. Some of the students involved in the cheating scandal were looking to attend elite universities such as: Georgetown University, Stanford University, University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of San Diego, University of Southern California (USC), University of Texas, Wake Forest University, and Yale.
NEW: Prosecutors announce charges "in the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice." https://t.co/mAP5m081rH pic.twitter.com/NBaDCW49G9
— ABC News (@ABC) March 12, 2019
The criminal investigation, named “Operation Varsity Blues,” found that millions of dollars worth of bribes had been paid for college admission to the various elite universities. It is also the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
Federal prosecutors have charged William “Rick” Singer, 58, for running the $25 million college admissions scam through his California-based business, Edge College & Career Network. His list of clientele included many prominent, wealthy figures ranging from CEO’s to Hollywood royalty.
A chart from the Department of Justice gives a full breakdown of the culprits and charges they are facing. That chart can be seen here.
Huffman was arrested for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
“Fuller House” star Loughlin, and her spouse Mossimo Giannulli, have now been charged with those same crimes in the nationwide indictment.
It’s no secret that wealthy families have always had access to better education, whether it was through legacy admission or other methods of obtaining access to higher education. Many times, the access is regardless of their child’s qualifications.
In fact, former President George W. Bush was a mediocre student, at best, when he graduated from Yale University. Throughout his entire academic career, he was a solid “C” student.
The issue isn’t about using money to give one’s offspring access to a better life or even a better college education. Honestly, that’s a perk of being wealthy and having privilege. It’s just what it is.
However, cheating is completely unacceptable when it comes to testing for entrance to college. It shows a lack of integrity and ethics, which are undeniably crucial elements of contributing positively to society.