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Actresses And Other Big Names Charged With Bribery In Education Fraud Scheme

Okabe & Haushalter Mar 14, 2019 RICO

If you have been near the news in the last 24 hours, then you have undoubtedly seen the explosive story about federal prosecutors in Boston charging almost 50 people in an education bribery scheme. There are some major names on the list, with Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman leading the way.

Their crime?

Being involved in a scheme in which massive amounts of money were paid by wealthy parents to ensure that their children were able to get into elite universities. At Okabe & Haushalter, we understand that this story is still developing, but today we want to give a brief overview of some of the charges and what this could mean for them. If you need a Los Angeles educational fraud attorney, contact us today.

What Is Happening Now?

The news has been filled with photos and stories of Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Loughlin (Full House), though there are many others involved. At the center of the case is William Singer, who has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges including racketeering and conspiracy as well as obstruction of justice. He allegedly set up a charity that would get money from wealthy parents. That money would then be used for various purposes to ensure that the children of those wealthy parents were admitted to elite colleges and universities.

Prosecutors and FBI investigators say that, between 2011 and 2018, parents paid more than $25 million to:

  • Bribe coaches and college administrators to designate their kids as student-athletes or other groups were given favored admissions status.
  • Bribe those administering college entrance exams to provide or change answers for a student or even allow other people to take the tests for the students.
  • Have a student take classes in the place of the students and use those grades on applications.

Prosecutors say that Singer even helped parents stage photographs with their children to make it look like they were athletes. Sometimes, he used stock photos and photoshop for that purpose.

They say that these schemes were successful more than 800 times. Also named in the scheme were nine coaches and more than 30 parents. No students were charged.

This case is likely to see more charges. Huffman’s husband, the acclaimed actor William H. Macy, is mentioned in the indictment, though he has not yet been arrested.

What You Can Do Now

Educational fraud and bribery charges are serious, and so are tax evasion and potential RICO charges. At Okabe & Haushalter, we have experience in defending clients facing these serious charges. We know that it can seem like there is no way out, especially when the media gets ahold of a story. However, you still have rights and we will be here to help. Our goal is always to get to the bottom of what happened and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. When you need a Los Angeles educational fraud attorney, you can contact us today by clicking here or calling 310-430-7799 for a consultation.