‘Best money can buy’: College admissions ‘bribing’ scandal nabs actresses in nationwide sting

With wealth comes rank and privilege… even if you have to bribe someone for it.

The largest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice was announced Tuesday, a nationwide scandal that included some of the most elite schools in America.

Among those charged were actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, with more than four dozen wealthy parents suspected of paying up to $6.5 million to have their children placed into top universities, Fox News reported.

Schools such as Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas.


“This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat to the system so they could set their children up for success with the best money can buy,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office, according to Fox News.

The alleged operation was run out of California by William Rick Singer, who ran the charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, which received $25 million in total to guarantee the admissions.

In effect, he allegedly helped parents bribe people to get their children enrolled — it doesn’t appear the colleges were involved and most of the students were unaware of the shenanigans.

More from Fox New on how the process worked:

The children’s parents would allegedly pay a specified amount of money fully aware it would be used to gain college admission. The money would then go toward an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach who would fake a profile for the prospective student — regardless of their athletic ability, according to the charging documents. […]

Singer would help his clients’ children by having another individual take SAT or ACT tests on behalf of the students, officials said. Parents would allegedly pay up to $75,000 for each test and wire money to “charitable accounts.”


Two of the college coaches named was Rudy Meredith, the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale, and John Vandemoer, the sailing coach at Stanford University.

Meredith, who resigned in November, reportedly received $400,000 from Singer to create a fake athletic profile for someone and say the person was a recruit for the Yale women’s soccer team.

The person was admitted to Yale.

Court documents also showed a tennis coach from Georgetown received more than $2.7 million of bribe money between 2012 and 2018.

Documents also stated 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.”

While no dollar figure was noted, Fox News reported that Huffman and her husband were accused of taking advantage of the SAT and ACT.


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