7 Crazy New Details About The Lori Loughlin/Felicity Huffman College Cheating Scandal

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5 Crazy New Details About The Lori Loughlin/Felicity Huffman College Cheating Scandal

Some of Hollywood's most adored faces were arrested in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal that involved rich individuals paying upwards of $6.5 million to give their children a spot in elite universities. 

Two of the four dozen charged have graced America's television screens in some of the most highly watched TV shows: Lori Loughlin, of "Full House" fame and Felicity Huffman best known for her role in "Desperate Housewives." 

At least 13 people were arrested Tuesday morning — including Huffman and Loughlin's husband, Mossimo Giannulli — and are expected to make their first court appearances soon.

So what does this all mean for the actresses and their families? What crimes were they actually charged with? Here's everything you need to know about the Lori Laughlin/Felicity Huffman college cheating scandal.

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1. The scam involved parents paying for their children's admission with bribes.

The scam involved wealthy parents reportedly paying for their children's admission into top colleges and universities through bribes, according to unsealed court documents in Boston. Police have been investigating the scandal for over a year, calling it: "Operation Varsity Blues."

"This is a case where [the parents] flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best money can buy,” Joseph Bonavolonta, from the FBI's Boston field office, said in a Tuesday news conference.

One of those parents was reportedly Lori Loughlin, who paid for her daughter, Olivia Jade's admission. Jade is an Instagram influencer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

another unforgettable evening @wcrfcure

A post shared by OLIVIA JADE (@oliviajade) on Feb 28, 2019 at 8:07pm PST

2. A man named William Rick Singer ran the operation.

William Rick Singer of California allegedly helped the parents pay for their children's admission through the charity Key Worldwide Foundation. It received $25 million in total to guarantee the admission, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said. 

The charity served as a front for the admissions scheme. Singer, who is the admissions consulting company's founder, pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court Tuesday afternoon. He was charged with racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

3. Most of the children had no idea.

According to police, most of the children didn't know their admission into schools like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas was all thanks to a bribe. However, in some cases, the children knew and were involved.

"Singer would accommodate what parents wanted to do," Lelling said. He added that it "appears that the schools are not involved."

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4. Singer would fake credentials. 

Lelling said that Singer had a knack for making fake credentials that looked real enough to avoid further inspection. The children's parents would pay money that would go toward an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach who would then fake a profile for the student — regardless of what their real ability was.

"There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy and there will not be a separate criminal justice system either," Lelling said. "We're not talking about donating a building so a school is more likely to take your son or daughter, we're talking about deception or fraud."

Singer would also have other people take the ACT or SAT tests for the kids, and parents would pay up to $75K for each test. The money was wired to charitable accounts."

5. They would even Photoshop some of the kids. 

Singer would also Photoshop the faces of the prospective students onto stock images of real athletes to support those admissions that were based more on athletics.

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Rudy Meredith, a former head women's soccer coach at Yale, was paid by Singer to create a fake profile for a student that said they were a recruit for the Yale women's soccer team even though the student didn't actually play soccer.

However, the student was admitted to Yale, and Meredith received $400,000.

6. Huffman allegedly took advantage of the SAT and ACT.

Felicity Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy, are accused of taking advantage of the SAT and ACT. Macy was not charged, but the two parents supposedly helped their daughter's admission by making a "charitable contribution of $15,000 ... to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme." 

"Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so," court documents read.

Court documents also say that "[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."

Lelling said this is an active investigation, and more parents could be involved.

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7. Felicity's sentence

Last week, Felicity Huffman appeared in federal court to receive her sentencing. She was sentenced to 14 days in jail, a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. Additionally, she will be on supervised release for one year. Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Gianulli have not been sentenced yet. 

Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture, and true crime.