Award-winning actress Felicity Huffman and Full House actress Lori Loughlin have both been charged and indicted in a recent college admissions scandal carried out by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. The stars are among 50 people who have been accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement, detailing, “Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston.”
The FBI have alleged in the lengthy indictment that a nation-wide bribery scheme helped students gain acceptance to top colleges, including Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California, Wake Forest and Georgetown, by helping them cheat on college exams and applications. Felicity Huffman allegedly handed over $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter,” the indictment states. Well-respected actor, William H Macy, who is Huffman’s spouse, has not been indicted in the case. Lori Loughlin was accused of having given $500,000 to have her children designated as row crew team recruits, when they had never actually participated in the sport.
Admissions consultant William Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), are at the center of the scandal. Prosecutors have shared that the foundation was revealed to actually have been a front for accepting bribes from high profile donors such as Huffman and Loughlin. After receiving “donations”, Singer would then help students cheat on their SATs and bribe administrators and sports coaches in order to ensure the student’s acceptance. It has been alleged that some donors offered up to $6 million for the service. Singer pleaded guilty to four charges and admitted that everything the case’s prosecutor accused him of “is true.”
Many of the schools that were said to have been targeted in the scheme provided prompt responses to the recent allegations. Colleges, including Yale, USC, Stanford and Wake Forest, have released statements. Some have shared that their own extensive internal investigations are taking place while others have divulged that the guilty parties on the college’s staff have been fired or placed on administrative leave until the details of the investigation become clearer.
Fellow actors and actresses have taken to social media to comment on the scandal. Actress Olivia Munn wrote in a Tweet, “What these parents did wasn’t for love, it was for fancy diplomas. Love would’ve made you spend that money on tutors to make your kids smarter, giving them an actual education.” Girls star, Lena Dunham also weighed in, Tweeting, “All the people involved in this college scam should have gathered their money and started a small elite college where Lori Loughlin teaches a class on smiling.” Loughlin has since surrendered to federal authorities in Los Angeles while Huffman is set to appear in Boston federal court on March 29, 2019.