Rich folk are at it again and to the surprise of no one, they still suck. According to NPR, 50 people have been charged in a massive bribery scam in which wealthy, influential parents buy a spot for their children in a number of the country’s top colleges. Most of the people charged are just regular, non-famous rich folk, but among those accused are Full House’s Lori Loughlin, and Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman. Both Loughlin and Huffman have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
The scandal, which the FBI is hilariously referring to as “Varsity Blues”, involves SAT scores being doctored and using Photoshop to fake their children’s involvement in sports teams (after buying equipment on Amazon). The Washington Post reported that the ringleader of this scheme was William Singer, a college admissions advisor. It’s reported that Singer disguised the scheme as a charity, which allowed the parents to deduct the bribes from their taxes because of course these rich parents have to make sure their fraud is tax deductible.
According to Variety, Lori Loughlin, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, have been accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to have both their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as rowers on the school’s crew team even though both daughters have never rowed crew. Loughlin surrendered to authorities while in Canada shooting When Calls the Heart for Hallmark. Loughlin appeared in court on Wednesday where Judge Steve Kim set her bail at $1,000,000. As a result of this scandal, Hallmark Channel has fired Loughlin, stopping all productions involving her and will be removing all of her completed work.
Felicity Huffman, and her husband William H. Macy, are accused of disguising a $15,000 bribe as a charitable payment, THR reports. According to the charging documents, Huffman met with a “confidential witness” to arrange a proctor at a SAT testing center to correct her daughter’s answers after she took the test. Huffman later exchanged emails with “witness” to arrange for her daughter to take SATs away from school and with 100 percent extra time. Strangely, Macy is solely referred to in the documents as Huffman’s “Spouse” instead of being referred to by name, despite being very much involved in the scandal and allegedly being caught on tape arranging the rigging of his daughter’s SAT score.
The parents involved in this scandal have abused their wealth and privilege to get their children into selective colleges that would otherwise reject their mediocre transcripts. Wealthy families have far more access to assistance than most. They can hire private tutors and afford practice test programs. Instead, these parents chose to commit fraud and exploited the system set up for students with disabilities that legitimately need special accommodations for test taking. These families have used their power and wealth to take spots away from students who actually deserved an education at a prestigious school to allow their unexceptional children to attend and are now, rightfully, facing the consequences of their actions.