College Admissions Scandal

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In almost every aspect of life, bribery plays a role in deciding who gets the short end of the stick, the college admissions process being a prime example of just that. The spotlight has been over this issue since the Federal Bureau of Investigation looked into suspicious charity donations found on tax returns of wealthy families. Investigators found more than $5 million in a sham charity account that was used as the cover up for college admissions bribery. Schools involved in the investigation include Yale, University of Southern California, University of San Diego, Wake Forest, University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford, Georgetown University, and The University of Texas at Austin. The Department of Justice called this scandal “The largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted”.

At Yale, the head coach of the soccer team received $400,000 for accepting a student as part of the team, even though the student did not play soccer. William Rick Singer, the man behind the scandal, paid the coach $1.2 million for the student’s acceptance. Singer is also accused of staging photos and arranging for others to take online classes that were forged as high school classes, all to receive higher grades and ultimately admittance to prestigious universities. Singer covered up the money from wealthy parents by claiming it as charity donations for his fake charity, Key Worldwide Foundation. Singer admitted “I created a side door that would guarantee families would get in [to the college]”.

One of the parents charged for involvement in Singer’s fraudulent crime is actress Felicity Huffman. Her and her husband, William H. Macy, contributed $15,000 to the “charity”. A phone call was pulled for evidence, proving Huffman paid for her daughters to get into elite schools. Huffman is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were also charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The couple paid a total of $500,000 for their two daughters to be admitted into the University of Southern California, the same school their father attended. The daughters were admitted as crew team members, despite the fact they never rowed. One of their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is a famous youtuber with almost 2 million subscribers, and has been under scrutiny in the past for making inappropriate comments and having a negative attitude towards school.

William Rick Singer, 33 parents, six athletic coaches, one athletic director, two ACT/SAT test administrators, and two associates of Singer are all set to appear in court on Monday, March 25th. Fifty people have been charged so far, some having already been to court. However, the case has now been shifted from federal district courts to the federal court due to the extremity of the case.