Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Huffman and Loughlin charges shatter actresses’ clean images

Huffman and Loughlin charges shatter actresses’ clean images

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with almost 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centres to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said.

The coaches would allegedly arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete, and exam administrators would either hire exam invigilators to take the test, or else correct the answers of a student.

Coaches, including the women's soccer coach at Yale University and the sailing coach at Stanford University, took between $200,000 and $400,000 to accept the students onto their teams.

Defendant William Singer was paid roughly $25 million dollars by parents to help their children get in to schools. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 for her oldest daughter and began the process for her second child but ultimately abandoned the plan because she was anxious a fixed score would "set off alarm bells".

The court documents also revealed that a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained to them that he "controlled" a testing center and could have somebody secretly change her daughter's answers, according to AP.

Huffman chose the alternative, reportedly paying $15,000 to have her eldest daughter's test scores falsified.

Prosecutors alleged the couple gave $500,000 to have their two daughters labelled as recruits to the rowing team at USC (University of Southern California), even though neither participated in the sport. She became a star on "Full House", a standout hit of ABC's family-friendly TGIF lineup in the early 1990s, and appeared on the recent Netflix reboot "Fuller House".

"For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected", Mr Lelling said.

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The Desperate Housewives star and Loughlin - along with approximately 40 others - have been charged with involvement cheating and fraud scandal, which has been labelled as the "largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice".

Prosecutors have so far named 33 parents, 13 coaches, and associates of Singer's business.

In a 2018 video posted on her YouTube page, Loughlin's daughter, Olivia Jade, said she wasn't interested in school.

Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded Macy discussing the bribe in the December 12 phone call, ultimately the pair decided against improving their second daughter's test scores.

In an email discussing her daughter's approval to receive extra time to take the SAT, Huffman allegedly used the "Scooby Doo" phrase "Ruh Ro" in an email.

Giannulli appeared in court Tuesday, where a magistrate judge set a $1 million bond and ordered him to surrender his passport.

Macy may have avoided being charged over the college admissions scandal because the incriminating emails were sent by his wife.

A who's who of famous names, from actresses to CEOs, have been arrested as part of a national college admissions cheating scam, according to court records unsealed in Boston Tuesday. The couple allegedly agreed to the plan. She also added that she was going to school for the partying, not academics: "I don't really care about school, as all you guys know".

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