Early Tuesday morning, news broke that charges were being made against dozens of individuals, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in the wake of a large-scale college admittance scandal. The scandal involved parents paying up to $6.5 million to fix their childrens’ SAT scores or to get them onto sports teams at major universities. These universities include Yale, UCLA, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Southern California, and the University of Texas.
The leader of the operation, William Rick Singer, pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. FBI Agent Joseph Bonavolonta commented on the investigation saying, “[T]his is a case where [the parents] flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best money could buy.”
In some cases, the children reportedly had no idea their admittance to college was due to their parent’s actions, while others were actively involved in the scheme. US attorney Andrew Lelling added that it “appeared that the schools were not involved” in the ruse. He also added, “[W]e’re not talking about donating a building so a school is more willing to take your son or daughter, we’re talking about deception or fraud.” When it came to the SAT scores, Singer worked around this in multiple ways, including forging notes to say that students needed more time for the exam, correcting scores afterward, or having others take the tests instead, under the students’ names.
In some cases, college coaches even accepted bribes to claim that students were recruited for their team by faking athletic credentials, including former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith and Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer. Meredith took $400,000 in bribes to have the applicant “join” the soccer team, despite said applicant never having played competitive soccer. Vandemoer was fired by Stanford after news of the scandal broke and his guilty plea on Tuesday. An unnamed Georgetown tennis coach received $2.7 million in bribes from Singer between 2012 and 2018 in exchange for twelve student-athletes being part of the team. However, some of these students were reported to have faked injuries, skipped practice, or briefly play on the team and then quit.
The revelation of this scandal is in the early stages and it is unknown how big this could get. According to attorney Alan Dershowitz, this is one of the largest scandals of the 21st century, and we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.