(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
March 12, 2019
An international college admissions cheating scandal, involving television celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin, has resulted in the indictments of over four dozen people. While the Full House & Desperate Housewives actresses have become the faces of the scam, among the indicted are college coaches, testing officials, administrators, and parents.
The scandal, which is being referred to as “Operation Varsity Blues, was revealed on March 12, 2019. William Singer of California has been charged as the “ringleader” of the operation, in which approximately $25 million were paid to university administrators and college coaches over a six year period. He plead guilty and is cooperating with the FBI, according to the affidavit.
Prestigious universities, such as Stanford, UCLA, USC, Georgetown, and Yale, were part of the schools in which students involved are attending due to the scheme. Not only were the wealthy families paying for their children’s SAT’/ACT scores to be altered, but the ringleader’s even went as far as to photoshop the faces of these students onto other bodies of athletes.
“We believe everyone charged here today, had a role in fostering a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for students trying to get into these schools the right way through hard work, good grades and community service. Unfortunately, what these students didn’t know was that the odds had already been stacked against them by corrupt practices, including, but not limited to bribery, falsification of athletic profiles, and near perfect SAT/ACT scores that were fraudulently obtained,” announced Special agent Joe Bonavolonta at a news conference.
Our hosts on KGO had some thoughts on the issues. You can find their conversations below, including Pat Thurston’s with Department of Justice reporter Matt Zapotosky.