Let’s play a game of word association. I say Hollywood celebrities and you say the first thing that comes to mind. If you said hypocrites, you’re not far off. Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens of wealthy parents, the majority of them bleeding-heart liberals, who bribed college coaches to help get their children admitted to prestigious universities as recruited athletes, despite having no athletic prowess.
According to CNN, fifty people in all have charged with crimes including felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in a massive federal indictment. Among those arrested were two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents.
Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, is quoted as saying that the parents are a “catalog of wealth and privilege,” including actors, CEOs, a fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm. He adds:
This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. 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.
For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.
How much did celebrities pay to ensure special treatment for their not-so-special children? The above-mentioned Loughlin, appeared on the TV series “Full House,” and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000” in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team despite the fact neither of them participated in crew.
A key figure in the scheme is William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college counseling and preparation business known, appropriately, as “The Key.” According to the indictment, Singer and his organization allegedly helped students score better on the ACT or SAT tests by cheating on the exams.
He also is accused of bribing college coaches to claim that a prospective student should be accepted to college because the student was a recruit for their sports team. However, Singer and the coaches knew that the student was not a competitive player and that his or her athletic profile was fake, the indictment said.