Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Dozens implicated in United States university admissions fraud

This image provided by the FBI shows the wanted poster for Monica Witt Female Officer Charged With Spying for Iran Was Radicalised at US College- Report
Lora Ball | 14 March, 2019, 06:57

Ms Huffman and Ms Loughlin were due to appear in Federal Court in Los Angeles later on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

The consultant also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students' answers, they said.

"For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected".

The ringleader of the scheme was named as William Singer, owner of Key Worldwide Foundation and a company called Edge College & Career Network.

Another parent charged in the scheme, Manuel Henriquez, resigned as chief executive officer of the finance company Hercules Capital, the company said early on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have named 33 parents, 13 coaches, and associates of Mr Singer's business, but said the investigation continued and more parents and coaches could be charged.

Prosecutors said that on a call with one parent, Singer summed up his business thusly: "What we do is help the wealthiest families in the USA get their kids into school ... my families want a guarantee".

Loughlin, who is known for portraying Aunt Becky on "Full House" and for starring in numerous Hallmark Channel movies, will appear in court again in Boston on March 29.

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Court documents allege that Felicity Huffman, 53, paid $15,000 to secure her eldest daughter a place at university.

Those involved could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Dozens, including Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC Studio's Desperate Housewives, were arrested by midday on Tuesday. Macy was not charged; authorities did not say why.

According to court records, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, the creator of clothing brand Mossimo, "agreed to pay bribes totalling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team" even though they did not participate in crew.

The coaches worked at schools such as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles.

In many cases, the students were not aware their parents had arranged for the cheating, prosecutors said, although in other cases they knowingly took part.

Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.

A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty before the documents went public and helped build the case against others.

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