College coaches, actresses among those charged in college entrance scheme

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Actress Lori Loughlin visits the Build Brunch to discuss the Hallmark Channel TV series 'When Calls the Heart' at Build Studio on February 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin is among those charged in a widespread cheating scheme. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Another scandal is bubbling to the surface in the world of college athletics.

According to NBC News and ABC 11, 50 people, including some college coaches and two well-known actresses, have been charged in a widespread cheating scheme aimed at getting students into universities as recruited athletes.

According to court documents, the scheme was centered around cheating on college entrance exams. Per ABC 11, parents would pay William Rick Singer, a California man who ran a college prep business, to help their children to get into the school of their choice.

To do so, Singer would “steer the money to either an SAT or ACT administrator or a college coach.” At that point, the coach “would arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete,” while college entrance exam administrators would “either hire proctors to take the test or correct the answers of a student.”

The bribes ranged from “a few thousand to up to $6 million,” per ABC 11. NBC News is reporting that some of the schools these students hoped to attend included Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest and Yale.

The schools are not believed to be involved, according to NBC.

Among those charged are actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Loughlin, most known from her role on “Full House,” is facing two charges: conspiracy to commit fraud and honest services mail fraud. She, along with her husband, is accused of paying bribes “totaling $500,000” to have her two daughters “designated as recruits” on USC’s crew team “despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.”

Huffman, best known for her role on “Desperate Housewives,” is accused of paying $15,000 for her daughter to attend the school of her choice.

The full list of people indicted can be found here. It includes former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer, former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst, Wake Forest volleyball coach William Ferguson, USC women’s soccer head coach Ali Khosroshahin, USC assistant women’s soccer coach Laura Janke, USC water polo head coach Jovan Vavic, UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, Texas men’s tennis coach Michael Center and USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel.

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