Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin among dozens charged in alleged college cheating scam
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens of parents, sports coaches and college prep executives accused of carrying out a national conspiracy to get students into prestigious colleges, according to a massive federal indictment.
The purpose of the alleged scam was to help student athletes get into college as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic ability, according to the indictment. It alleges that a third party took the ACT and SAT college entrance exams in place of students. The documents also allege that some defendants created fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes and get them into college.
Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated as well as parents and exam administrators, federal prosecutors said.
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 Massachusetts. A law enforcement source confirms to CNN that the actress has been arrested in Los Angeles.
Loughlin, star of “Full House” and “Fuller House,” also is facing the same felony charge — conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
CNN is working to get comment from the actresses’ representatives.
Huffman, best known for her role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” is accused of paying $15,000 to an organization that then facilitated cheating for her daughter on the SATs, the indictment said. Huffman also discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with a cooperating witness, the indictment said.
Of the other defendants, several are sports coaches or administrators at the University of Southern California, UCLA and Yale and Wake Forest universities. The indictment accuses defendants of committing crimes between 2011 and 2019.
Much of the indictment revolves around William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college counseling and preparation business known as “The Key.”
As laid out in the indictment, Singer allegedly paid 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.