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Here’s What We Know So Far About Operation Varsity Blues

A summary and the latest updates about the largest college admissions scandal to hit the country.

Lindsay Wigo

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Last updated March 13, 10:05 PM EST

The biggest college admissions scandal in history surfaced yesterday when over four dozen people were charged with paying up to $6.5 million to get their children into prestigious colleges and universities. Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those charged. 

William Rick Singer, the ringleader of the scam, would assist the parents by having a third party proctor illegally change the child’s SAT or ACT answers after the exam to receive a desired score.

In the weeks leading up to the exam, Singer would urge parents to visit a psychologist with their children to get a note that issued extended time over multiple days. Singer would then have the families fly out to the “West Hollywood Testing Center” or the “Houston Testing Center,” in order to carry out the plan with the third party proctor.

Singer could also create a fake sport team profile and fabricated credentials for a student, and would then negotiate with top universities’ coaches to accept the student as a recruited athlete.

Some university coaches have been fired in connection to the scandal, but many universities were unaware of the scam.

Singer created a fictitious charity, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), that supposedly collected funds to help underprivileged students. Instead, the wealthy parents would donate a specified, agreed upon amount to this depository in return for the college admission services.

Huffman paid $15,000 for her oldest daughter’s exams to be altered and even discussed doing the same plan for her youngest daughter.

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 to pose their two children as crew recruits to the University of Southern California. Their youngest daughter, a successful YouTube beauty vlogger, Olivia Jade, posed on an ergometer for a photo and is receiving a large amount of backlash for the incident.

According to the affidavit, Singer warned many participants that KWF was being audited and to remain quiet if questioned about their donation.

One parent stated that she would claim the donation would “support the foundation, which serves underprivileged kids,” if questioned.

At least 13 people were arrested Tuesday morning with bribery-related charges and were expected to make appearances later in the day. Loughlin and her husband were each released on $1 million bail and will face Boston federal court on March 29. Huffman posted bail at $250,000.

This information will be updated as new details emerge.

 

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Lindsay is a journalism student and is excited to be working with College Media Network as a writer/reporter. She hopes to work in the journalism field in the future as a features and profiles writer. For more of her work, visit her website: www.lindsaywigo.com

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