‘Operation Varsity Blues’ in Full Effect
March 27, 2019
In the past week, it has been revealed by the U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts that fifty people have been charged in federal court for conspiring to gain admissions for high school students into top universities and colleges. The nationwide scandal includes celebrities and high executives in many different industries. The situation has touched deep into the nerves of many around the country as more information comes forward.
The alleged scheme, named “Operation Varsity Blues,” has been ongoing for years – dating back to 2011 – and has been investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department for over a year now. The allegations include bribing college entrance exam officials to facilitate cheating on college admission exams, such as the SAT and ACT; bribing coaches and administrators to sign applicants as recruited athletes (when they are not) to gain acceptance into colleges and universities; and using charitable organizations to conceal bribery payments. It has been reported that many parents have paid up to $6.5 million to have their children admitted into high-profile universities around the nation.
One of the biggest accusations reported surrounds actress Lori Loughlin, popular for her roles on Hallmark’s Wind Calls the Heart and Netflix’s Fuller House and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, for allegedly paying bribes totaling up to $500,000 to recruit their two daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, as part of the University of Southern California (USC) crew team. It has since been released that both Loughlin and Giannulli are each on a one million dollar bond. Neither have entered a plea. Loughlin has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. The couple’s next appearance in court is to be held on March 29 in Boston.
In addition, reality star Felicity Huffman from the series Desperate Housewives has also been confirmed to be a part of the massive scandal as she allegedly made a false charitable contribution of $15,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation, which was allegedly put toward entrance exam cheating for her eldest daughter, Sofia Grace Macey. Like Loughlin, Huffman has not entered a plea and has been charged with both conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. Huffman has said to have paid her $250,000 bond and is set also to appear in federal court on March 29 in Boston.
At this point, no students have been charged as many universities and colleges are said to be reviewing such cases individually before making any further decisions on how to deal with the allegations..
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