(TIML NEWS) TV actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens of people charged with paying bribes to get their kids into top universities in a widespread college admissions scam, according to reports Tuesday.
More than 40 people have been indicted in the scheme that allegedly involved students gaining entrance to schools including Georgetown, Stanford, Wake Forest University, UCLA and Yale as recruited athletes — regardless of their athletic ability.
Federal prosecutors in Boston say parents paid an admissions consultant $25 million from 2011 through Feb. 2019 to bribe the coaches and administrators in order to help their kids get accepted.
The California man is accused of steering that money to either an SAT and ACT administrator to help the students get admitted.
Bogus athletic profiles were made to look as though the students were qualified athletes in order to boost the kids’ chances of getting in — when they actually weren’t involved in sports.
Huffman, who starred in the ABC hit series “Desperate Housewives,” and Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” are facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, NBC News reported.
In Huffman’s case, she and her husband allegedly made a “purported charitable contribution” of $15,000 in order to weasel her eldest daughter into school, according to court papers cited by ABC.
She allegedly later made similar arrangements for her younger daughter — but then backed out.
Huffman has been married to fellow actor William H. Macy, who’s earned Emmy nominations for his role on “Shameless.”
The feds say they have recorded telephone calls with Huffman and a cooperating witness.
Loughlin, meanwhile, and her husband “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,” court documents said.
Authorities say they have emails from Loughlin to prove their charges.
The consulting firm is also accused of bribing administrators of college entrance exams to allow a Florida man to take the tests on behalf of students or replace their answers with his.
Also charged is former Yale University women’s soccer coach Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, who is accused of accepting payments from parents of college applicants.