Hollywood actresses arrested over $35m university scheme

TWO HOLLYWOOD actresses, along with CEOs and dozens of other Americans, are accused of bribing their children’s way into elite universities in the US.

In what the US Justice Department is describing as the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted, charges have been laid against Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, as well as 44 other people including athletic coaches.

Huffman, best-known for her role in Desperate Housewives, is being questioned by authorities in LA as part of Operation Varsity Blues.


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Court documents reportedly reveal Huffman paid $US15,000, written off as a charitable donation, so that her daughter could take part in the college entrance cheating scam.

At this stage, Huffman’s actor husband and the father of her two children, William H. Macy, has not been charged.

He has been filmed arriving at the court where his wife is due to appear.

While Full House star Loughlin is reportedly on her way from filming on location in Canada to hand herself in.

The scheme allegedly saw wealthy parents bribe college coaches and insiders at testing centres to help secure their child’s entry into Stanford, Georgetown and University of California, among others.

While a former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

The schools themselves are not targets of the investigation.

“These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the $US25 million ($A35 million) federal bribery case.

It’s alleged parents paid between $US200,000 and up to $US6.5 million to an admissions consultant, from 2011 through last month, to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes, alter test scores and have others take online classes to boost their chances of getting into schools.

 

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