Empty Nesting: CEOs, Celebs Tied To College Admission Bribery Case

Empty Nesting: CEOs, Celebs Tied To College Admission Bribery Case

Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among a group of at least 44 people charged with mail fraud, honest services fraud and other crimes related to a $25 million college admission scheme aimed at falsifying college applications to schools like Georgetown, Stanford and Yale.

Who's Involved

According to newly released court documents, the alleged mastermind of the scam was William Rick Singer, who operated a college preparation business in Newport Beach, California.

Prosecutors say Loughlin, who starred on “Full House,” Huffman, who starred on “Desperate Housewives,” and 42 other people, including corporate executives and college coaches, paid between $10,000 and $75,000 to have people pretend to be their college-aged children and take SAT tests and other college admissions tests in their place.

Bill McGlashan, private equity investor and CEO of the Rise fund appears to be one of the people charged in connection with the scam. Hercules Capital Inc HTGC shares dropped 7.1 percent Tuesday as CEO Manuel Henriquez also appears to be among those charged.

What They Did

The court filing states Singer paid cash bribes to test proctors as part of the scheme. Since 2011, Singer has allegedly also been bribing coaches and university administrators to falsely designate applicants as potential athlete recruits or assign them other preferential designations that improve their chances of acceptance.

Officials said most students involved were unaware of the scheme. Coaches from Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, USC, Wake Forest and other schools were allegedly involved.

Officials said Loughlin and Huffman were among 13 people arrested by the FBI in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

"Today's arrest should be a warning to others," FBI spokesperson Joseph Bonavolonta said. "You can't pay to play. You can't cheat to get ahead, because you will get caught."

According to filings, Hoffman and her husband actor William H. Macy allegedly paid $15,000 as part of the scheme on behalf of their eldest daughter. Loughlin and her husband allegedly agreed to pay $500,000 in bribes to get both of their daughters designated as potential crew team recruits for USC.

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David Reynolds 1 year ago Member's comment

Sad truth is, all these people will likely get little more than a slap on the wrist. So called "celebrity justice." Is it really any different than the Wall Street companies that are constantly getting caught and fined a few million when their illicit behavior helped them to rake in billions? As long as the wealthy get away with breaking the law, it will never end.