Actresses charged in college admissions cheating scheme

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 5:43 AM ET, Thu March 14, 2019
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12:20 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Some parents paid up to $6.5 million for "guaranteed admission," FBI says

Joseph Bonavolonta, the FBI special agent in charge, said some parents paid millions of dollars to ensure that their children gained admission to prestigious universities.

"This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense, to cheat the system and set their children up for success with the best education money could buy — literally," Bonavolonta said.

Some parents sent as much as $200,000 to $6.5 million for "guaranteed admission," he said.

12:03 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Justice Department releases list of defendants and the charges they face

From CNN's Laura Jarrett

The Justice Department has released a chart of those charged in the university entrance racketeering case, along with the specific crimes.

For most, the charges range from conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Others, such as defendant William Singer, face racketeering conspiracy; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to defraud US and obstruction of justice.

11:53 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

This is a nationwide scam, with "several connections to the Boston area," prosecutor says

Andrew Lelling, the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the college admissions scam is a nationwide scheme, but there were several connections to the Boston area.

"It appears to be a conspiracy nationwide in scope," he told reporters at a news conference. "There are several connections to the Boston area. So fake test scores, for example, were submitted to Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern."
1:46 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Actress Felicity Huffman arrested and charged with mail fraud, Lori Loughlin charged too

From CNN’s Mark Morales

Academy-award nominee Felicity Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud according to court paperwork filed yesterday in Massachusetts federal court.

This is a felony.

A law enforcement source confirms to CNN that Huffman is the actress and she has been arrested in Los Angeles.

Huffman, best known for her role on TV's "Desperate Housewives," is accused of paying $15,000 to an organization that then facilitated cheating for her daughter on the SATs, the indictment said. Huffman also discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with a cooperating witness, the indictment said.

Actress Lori Loughlin is also facing the same felony charge — conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

11:45 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

50 arrested in nationwide scam, DOJ announces

A total of 50 people nationwide were arrested in the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice, officials unveiled on Tuesday.

Those arrested include two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents according to Andrew Lelling, the US Attorney for Massachusetts.

Defendant William Singer was paid roughly $25 million dollars by parents to help their children get in to schools.

Singer helped pay individuals money to take the exams or help improve their scores after.