The FBI charged 50 people, including Full House actress Lori Loughlin and Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman, after an investigation found they allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to get their children admitted to elite universities.
Loughlin, Huffman, and dozens of others face federal fraud charges after an announcement by the Department of Justice at a press conference on March 12.
The plot, per the FBI, involved cheating on standardized testing exams such as the ACT and having the children of wealthy parents falsely designated as successful athletes, and in some cases even paying financial bribes to coaches. At the center of the scandal is William “Rick” Singer, who acted as a for-profit college counselor and orchestrated the schemes, taking millions of dollars in payments from the parents.
The story has sparked considerable public outrage over the wealthy parents’ actions, since millions of other students and families without vast financial resources have to go through many more hoops to attempt to get admitted to these same universities.
The fraud case has also shed light on the many issues with admission processes at elite schools — from the problems with schools giving preference to athletes to rich families’ ability to buy their way in and the hypocrisy of outrage over affirmative action programs.