It's the biggest college admissions bribery case the DOJ has ever prosecuted, and it has snared some pretty big names: Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those indicted for mail fraud Tuesday in an alleged bribery scam. The latest:
- A name fit for Hollywood: The investigation is called "Operation Varsity Blues," and CNN cites US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling's description of most of those indicted: 33 parents; 9 coaches (from schools including Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest, and Georgetown) in sports like soccer, water polo, tennis, and volleyball; one college administrator; two SAT/ACT administrators; and an exam proctor. The AP reports a former soccer coach at Yale pleaded guilty and helped prosecutors make their case.
- At the center of it all: ... is allegedly a man named William Singer. He ran a college-prep company called the Key and allegedly facilitated the scheme. Prosecutors claim he bribed college coaches to put individual students on a recruited athletes list, though CNN notes the coaches were aware the students weren't recruitable players. NPR reports that in the case of a Yale women's soccer recruit, the student didn't even play soccer. Per the indictment, parents in one case allegedly had fake photos taken of their child participating in sports. Charges against Singer include racketeering conspiracy.
- The timeline: Prosecutors say payments were made to Singer between 2011 and February 2019. Per NPR, parents typically allegedly paid $250,000 to $450,000, but one is said to have forked over $6.5 million. Singer's alleged total take: about $25 million.