Felicity Huffman Among Stars Charged In Huge College Admissions Fraud Case

Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and Full House mainstay Lori Loughlin are among 50 individuals charged by the FBI in relation to an alleged fraud scheme to secure admissions for students at elite American universities.

Federal prosecutors have accused a slew of elite parents of channelling at least AUD $35 million through a service which allegedly offered ‘counselling’ to college applicants through a dazzling array of fraudulent means, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Among the alleged offences: six-figure bribes paid to college athletic coaches to vouch for applicants who may not have even competed in those sports, the use of stand-ins to take the all-important SAT and ACT entrance exams, and payments directed to test administrators to correct answers before submission.

Some of the most prestigious and exclusive higher-education facilities in America, including Stanford University, Yale University, and UCLA, were allegedly targeted by the scheme.

William “Rick” Singer, 58, has been charged with operating a racketeering scheme through his business Edge College & Career Network, which serviced an array of rich people like Hollywood celebrities and CEOs.

A widely disseminated picture from the complaint depicts an alleged handwriting sample supplied by one parent for a fraudulent test taker to mimic in a test:

The case is being described as the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the US Department of Justice. Charges faced by those prosecuted include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

As for the specific charges against the high-profile alleged members of the cheating ring, Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to cheat on her oldest daughter’s SATs, and Loughlin allegedly agreed to pay bribes totalling $500,000 to have her children designated as recruits to the USC rowing team, despite not actually being rowers.

According to TMZ, 7 federal agents arrived at Huffman’s home on Tuesday morning, guns drawn, and demanded she come out and surrender.