(BOSTON) — Hollywood actors — including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin — and a slew of chief executives are among 50 people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam, according to court records unsealed in Boston Tuesday.
Those indicted allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said.
“Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants…conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere…” read the indictment, which was obtained by ABC News.
In most cases, the students did not know their admission was contingent on a bribe, officials said.
According to the charging papers, Desperate Housewives Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Huffman — who is married to Emmy winner and Oscar nominee William H. Macy — “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 … to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.”
“Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so,” the documents allege.
Federal agents secretly recorded telephone calls with Huffman and a cooperating witness, according to the court papers.
The documents say actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
Federal agents obtained emails from Loughlin implicating her in the scam, according to the documents.
The feds had cooperating witnesses within the academic community who helped build the case.
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