Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Hollywood stars among dozens charged over college entrance scam

Hollywood stars among dozens charged over college entrance scam

"The substantial majority of people in our industry are really ethical, it's mind-blowing that something on this scale could happen", said Chris Wills, president of the Twin Cities college consulting firm College Inside Track.

After Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were accused of allegedly committing fraud to get their kids into college, two top criminal lawyers explain exclusively how much jail time they could face if convicted.

"These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege", Andrew Lelling, the United States attorney in Boston, said at a news conference on Tuesday. If their parents were any smart, they would've just taken the traditional route and bribed colleges to accept their children by making huge donations directly to the school.

"For every student admitted through fraud", Lelling said, "an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected". Roughly $25 million in bribes were paid out by parents between 2011 and 2018.

Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children's admission, officials said.

The relatives of one applicant paid $1.2 million to have the applicant falsely described as the co-captain of a well-known California soccer team, although the applicant did not play competitive soccer, prosecutors said. "We're right now in the thick of college application time, which is so stressful", the "Shameless" star said in January. It is alleged the couple agreed to the plan.

"Full House" actor Lori Loughlin and the former head of financial firm Pimco are due to face criminal charges on Wednesday related to a $25 million scheme to help wealthy Americans secure places for their children in top US colleges.

Singer also collected money to pay other people to take the SATs and ACTs for the children of his clients. MA state criminal defense attorney Dakota Martin echoed Molari, telling HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, that, the penalty for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, which Huffman and Loughlin are both charged with, could get them "up to 20 years in prison, a fine (up to $1 million if a financial institution is involved), or both". She was arrested without incident at her California home, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Huffman was detained on Tuesday, but released on a $250,000 bond.

Court documents unsealed on March 12 allege the individuals participated in a nationwide conspiracy to facilitate cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities, including Yale and Stanford.

Loughlin became famous as the wholesome Aunt Becky in the 1980s and '90s sitcom "Full House".

Additionally, the judge has instructed Loughlin not to discuss her case with others, excluding her husband, and their two daughters, 20-year-old Isabella and 19-year-old Olivia.

It's unclear how the Shameless star is spending his birthday, although hours before, he was supporting Huffman, 56, at the federal detention center in Los Angeles where she was being held on Tuesday.

Singer is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday in Boston federal court to charges including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to court papers.

CNN has contacted Iconix Brand Group, which owns Giannulli's namesake fashion company, Mossimo. Riddell didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

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