Friday, 22 March, 2019

‘Shameless’ star William Macy not charged in bribery scandal

Harkness Tower on the campus of Yale University in New Haven Conn Harkness Tower on the campus of Yale University in New Haven Conn. Beth Harpaz AP
Charles Bowen | 13 March, 2019, 15:26

On Wednesday, both actresses had their reputations shattered as they were charged with fraud and conspiracy Tuesday along with dozens of others in a scheme that according to federal prosecutors saw wealthy parents pay bribes to get their children into some of the nation's top colleges.

"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud", Andrew Lelling, the USA attorney for MA, said.

"For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected".

Authorities said parents paid the founder of the Edge College & Career Network approximately 25 million dollars to get their children into college.

Mr Singer is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday in Boston Federal Court to charges including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to court papers.

When Felicity Huffman opened the door to her Los Angeles home at 6 a.m. Tuesday, she was met by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with their guns drawn, according a source familiar with the incident. Once the student was accepted to the school, her family paid $1.2 million.

As an Emmy victor and Oscar nominee, Felicity Huffman has been known as one of Hollywood's more versatile actresses, as well as one-half of one of its more famous acting couples with husband William H. Macy.

Court documents showed that Huffman and Macy met with a cooperating witness at their home in Los Angeles, where the witness told the couple he "controlled" a testing center for college entrance exams and could have their daughter's SAT answers secretly changed, AP reported.

Many other cases involved photo fraud, according to Lelling.

Authorities have not said why Macy, who has starred for the last several years in the Showtime series "Shameless" and was an Oscar nominee for the 1996 movie "Fargo", has not been charged.

Loughlin and her husband allegedly gave $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither participated in the sport.

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At the USC campus in Los Angeles, an athletic coach was accused of taking a bribe in return for arranging the admission of Loughlin's daughters in spots reserved for the crew team.

The payments were made to Singer's fake Newport Beach, California charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, and to non-profits managed by the coaches, which allowed the parents to deduct the payoffs and bribes from their taxes.

"OK, so, who we are. what we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school", Singer told one parent, according to prosecutors.

The University of Southern California said it is reviewing its application process.

"If I can make the comparison, there is a front door of getting in where a student just does it on their own, and then there's a back door where people go to institutional advancement and make large donations, but they're not guaranteed in", Singer said in The New York Times report.

How did the alleged scheme work?

Huffman was in custody in Los Angeles, along with 11 others.

Caplan was accused of paying $75,000 to get a test supervisor to correct the answers on his daughter's ACT exam after she took it.

Singer also helped parents stage photographs of their children playing sports or even Photoshopped children's faces onto images of athletes downloaded from the internet to exaggerate their athletic credentials.

No students were charged.

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