Forget studying hard, putting in practice, and volunteering in your community. It turns out that if you want to get into the best colleges, none of that stands a chance against rich parents, Photoshop skills, and a scammer with a side door. Here’s what’s come out about the college admissions scandal that’s tripping up the rich and famous.
Fifty people have been charged in what the FBI has code-named Operation Varsity Blues a multi-million dollar college admissions scam that helped the children of wealthy parents cheat their way into the country’s most elite colleges. According to NBC News, the families of these prospective students – including celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman reportedly paid a whopping $25 million to fake athletic profiles, bribe coaches and administrators, and cheat on college exams to help their children gain acceptance into prestigious universities like Stanford, Georgetown, and Yale.
The scam, which US Attorney Andrew Lelling described as, quote, “the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted,” was reportedly orchestrated by William Rick Singer, the man behind California-based college prep business The Edge College & Career Network — also known as “The Key.” The alleged fraudster reportedly used The Key and Key Worldwide Foundation, his business’ nonprofit arm, to funnel tax-free bribes to top athletic coaches and administrators.
Singer has already pleaded guilty to counts of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice, and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors. NBC News reported that out of the 50 people charged, 33 were parents, nine were college coaches, and the rest were test administrators and other people in charge of managing the scheme, like Singer.
The FBI wasn’t looking for a college admissions scandal when it stumbled upon the multi-million dollar scheme. According to NBC News, the bureau launched a probe in May 2018 after uncovering evidence of large-scale fraud taking place during a different undercover investigation. Since then, Operation Varsity Blues has spanned 10 months and six states, involving 200 agents. The probe utilized court-authorized wiretaps, recorded phone calls, and a key cooperating witness: William Singer himself. According to one recorded phone call, Singer has claimed more than 800 families have used his so-called “side door” to buy their way into college.
Standardized test scores are already viewed as a gateway into the best universities, with their results supposedly making the difference between a scholarship and a rejection letter. Those families with means to spare can pay top dollar for the best SAT prep courses and tutors the country has to offer, which undeniably gives affluent students a leg up on their peers.
But this alleged scam takes things to a whole new level, with wealthy parents going far beyond test preparation, into straight-up score fabrication. Keep watching the video to learn how the FBI stumbled upon the college scandal evidence unexpectedly.
#CollegeAdmissionsScandal #USCscandal #CelebCollegeScandal
Varsity Blues | 0:17
Accidental findings | 1:41
Charging the big bucks | 2:29
On the take | 3:57
Cover-up at USC | 5:10
Row, row, row your boat | 6:33
Desperate and shameless | 7:27
Sailing off the edge | 8:29
A soccer scandal | 9:43
But here’s the important thing… | 10:34
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