Four dozen parents, CEOs, university coaches, and college admissions officers were charged on Tuesday by the Justice Department in a massive criminal scandal. Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman were two among the names. The FBI investigation of the criminal activity claims that the alleged were involved in bribery to help enable selective applicants to enter elite class universities including Yale, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC and Georetown. The prosecutors involved reveal that the parents paid anywhere between USD $100,000 to USD $6.5 million to get their children into the universities of choice.
“The case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud,” said Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney in Boston, in a press conference address. “The parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege.”
It is alleged that these parents paid test invigilators to allow their children to cheat or receive aid on the exam (or have the proctor later change the answers) as well as bribed university coaches to write glowing recommendations and nominate their children as part of university athletics recruitment programs. These parents paid between USD $15,000 and USD $75,000 to let their children cheat on admissions and standardized tests alone, and a total of USD $25 million has been accounted for in bribes that said parents are guilty of paying between 2011 and 2018. Several such payments were often disguised as donations or charitable contributions to the institutions.
Why It Matters
FBI Investigators in the case have said that such fraudulent activity has polluted the pool of applicants, granting educational access to undeserving applicants over those with merit, going against the very principles that some of the most elite university institutions stand upon. They also revealed that unfortunately the scandal goes far beyond bribing individuals at the outskirts of the educational institutions as integral members of said universities have been accused of being involved in these crimes directly as well, truly endangering the founding principles of many of these universities.
How Are The Kids Involved?
Some children who “earned” their spots into colleges this way were supposedly unaware that their parents had carried out such under the table deals to secure their admissions. They were unaware of the various grade manipulation and admissions deception tactics that were used in their favor which also include hiring other “smarter” individuals to pose as their children in tests, exams, and other platforms to raise their grades or test scores.
Where’s The Lead?
According to court documents, one of the witnesses helping the FBI is actually a former head coach of the Yale’s women’s soccer team who in fact plead guilty to the case of admission fraud a year ago. She is now actively involved in helping the FBI look into individuals involved in or benefiting from this scandal, helping collect evidence of the crimes.