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World
13 Mar 2019

'Desperate Housewives' actor Felicity Huffman charged in college entrance scandal

US college admission-racket busted, several renowned names involved

In one of the largest college admissions scams in the US, Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives star, was arrested on Tuesday.

Huffman, along with actor Lori Loughlin, is among the 33 parents who are accused of bribing to get their children admitted to prestigious universities like Yale, Stanford and USC.

Huffman and Loughlin are said to have paid somewhere between several thousand dollars and $6.5m.

In context

US college admission-racket busted, several renowned names involved
SAT, ACT scores tweaked, fake athletic credentials presented

Scandal

SAT, ACT scores tweaked, fake athletic credentials presented

The alleged fraud helped children of rich people get into universities by showing fake athletic credentials or by tweaking their answers in their SATs and ACTs (college entrance tests for undergrad courses).

And why good athletic records?

Because if the coach selects you for the college team, it becomes easy to get admission in prestigious universities.

After the admission, they would attend regular orientation.

Mastermind

Who is the mastermind, and what was the modus operandi

Till now, 50 names have emerged, including that of 13 university sports coaches and test operators, and the main accused, William Singer.

Singer, an admission counselor, helped these kids get admitted to reputed universities via 'the side door'.

He then laundered money via a bogus charity he ran and gave millions of dollars to sport coaches and test operators to tweak the admission process.

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Know the different 'doors' that get you admission

Knowledge

Know the different 'doors' that get you admission

Singer said that to get into any university there is a front door, through which admission is done in the regular way, a back door, which doesn't guarantee admission.

Finally, 'the side door', which guarantees admission via corrupted system.

Apart from using 'side door,' Singer also tweaked information, like affirmative action (which ensures people who were historically discriminated get equal opportunities), to take advantage.

Charges

Huffman knew this would happen some day, media reports say

Charges of racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice were pressed against Singer by the Federal prosecutors, who pleaded guilty.

The case, named as Operation Varsity Blues, has 13 people, arrested till now for conspiracy and committing mail fraud, and all are being tried in the court.

Huffman, who was arrested from her house yesterday morning, was aware that this would happen, reports suggested.

'Full House' actor Loughlin in Canada, to surrender on Wednesday

Details

'Full House' actor Loughlin in Canada, to surrender on Wednesday

Loughlin, on the other hand, was shooting in Vancouver when the FBI showed up at her house.

Her designer husband, Mossimo, was arrested instead, but he was out on bail, just like Huffman.

It's speculated that the Full House star will surrender tomorrow morning.

The 54-year-old actor allegedly paid $500,000 to Singer to get her daughters into University of California under fake sports scholarships.

Probe

These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege: Attorney

The US Attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, talked about the investigation on Tuesday.

He said that the parents that included actors, CEOs, a fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm were a "catalog of wealth and privilege."

"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud," he observed.

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Most asked questions

What all colleges were involved in the case?

Where is William Singer from?

What is the profession of William Singer?

How much did sports coaches earn out of scams?

More questions

What all colleges were involved in the case?

Asked on 13-03-2019 by Surabhi Chauhan

Answered by NewsBytes

According to investigation, there are no signs of the universities being involved.

Where is William Singer from?

Asked on 13-03-2019 by Sanvi Saxena

Answered by NewsBytes

William Singer is from California.

What is the profession of William Singer?

Asked on 13-03-2019 by Aadhya Mukopadhyay

Answered by NewsBytes

William Singer is a college admission counsellor and ran the scam.

How much did sports coaches earn out of scams?

Asked on 13-03-2019 by Ayaan Mittal

Answered by NewsBytes

Sports coaches were given money ranging from $10,000 to millions.

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