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UPDATE: “Varsity Blues” Blows Up

 

The FBI and federal prosecutors are charging nearly 50 people in the largest college cheating scandal ever.  U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said yesterday at least 33 parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, super-rich CEOs and two SAT or ACT exam administrators, and nine coaches at elite schools, are among those facing charges in what’s dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”  The current and former coaches are from Yale, Georgetown, USC, Wake Forest and Texas. Loughlin and her husband allegedly paid 500-thousand-dollars in bribes. Lelling said all of the parents knew their kids were cheating on the ACT and/or SAT entrance tests or creating bogus sports profiles to get to the college through a sports team.  He said this was a case of rich and privileged people cheating the system at the expense of parents and kids playing by the rules.

California businessman William Singer was the alleged ringleader of the operation.  Feds say he collected 25-million-dollars in bribes. Beyond the SAT and ACT scam, parents paid Singer the money that he then used to bribe coaches and administrators to designate their children as recruited athletes for schools.  Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering charges yesterday. Selling added parents paid Singer between 15-and-75-grand to have someone either take the exam for their children or to correct their child’s answers afterward.

Lelling said parents had photoshopped their kids’ faces onto actual athletes’ bodies to submit pictures to schools in order to gain admission.  Yale’s soccer coach is accused by the FBI of taking a 400-thousand-dollar bribe to accept a student with no soccer background.

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