Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin and nine college coaches are among the 50 people charged Tuesday in what federal officials say is the nation’s largest-ever college admissions bribery case prosecuted by the Justice Department.
The Justice Department charged 33 affluent parents, which include CEOs and television stars, with taking part in an elaborate conspiracy that involved cheating on the SAT and ACT and parents paying coaches “enormous sums” to accept students who fabricated their athletic credentials at elite universities and colleges.
In some cases, coaches agreed to pretend that students applying to their school were highly recruited athletes when, in fact, they didn’t even compete in that particular sport.
Wake Forest University says it has suspended its head volleyball coach Bill Ferguson amid the investigation. Ferguson has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of accepting $100,000 to recruit a student who had been on the North Carolina school wait list.
Others charged included three people who organized the scams, two ACT and SAT exam administrators, one exam proctor, and one college administrator.
At the center of the case, according to federal prosecutors, was an admissions consultant named William Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy charges of racketeering, money laundering, defrauding the United States and obstruction of justice.