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U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling Announces results of an investigation into a scheme to bribe colleges code-named Operation Varsity Blues

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in what federal authorities have called ,the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, wealthy parents  are accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

This scandal is certain to inflame longstanding complaints that children of the wealthy and well-connected have the inside track to college admissions , with parents using large and timely donations to encourage their acceptance.  

At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance or business, were among those charged. The coaches worked schools such as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Prosecutors explained how the scam worked . According to DOJ officials parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes to boost their chances of getting into college. The consultant also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students, and paid off insiders at testing centers to alter students’ scores.Parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children’s admission.

Prosecutors said parents were also instructed to claim their children had learning disabilities so that they could take the ACT or SAT by themselves, with extended time making  it easier to pull off the tampering.

10 thoughts on “U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling Announces results of an investigation into a scheme to bribe colleges code-named Operation Varsity Blues

  1. 800 “wealthy families” were “helped” by the ringleader of this group. Certainly there will be some from Ridgewood.

  2. Tempest in a teapot …

  3. Let me see if I have this right. If someone pays for unfair consideration it’s a scandal. If they get it for free it’s Affirmative Action?

  4. Fraud 1: Unwarranted qualification as a prospective student athlete and the looser academic admission standards that typically go along with that status.

    Fraud 2: Unwarranted claim, supported by a corrupt doctor, of a learning disability to qualify for special location and special logistics during SAT and ACT testing, facilitating a stand-in test-taker.

    The children involved were aware of the cheating as it was happening. They were either morally compromixed to begin with or became that way through exposure to immoral behavior that went undetected or unpunished (i.e., corruption of the young via the sin of scandal).

    Immoral wealthy parents are at the heart of this scandal, much as well-to-do drug addicts fuel the trans-border trade in illicit drugs with Mexico. Supply rises to meet the demand of the morally depraved with cash to burn.

  5. This is old news this is been going on for so many years. Money talks bullshit walks and will never stop it.

  6. Prediction 1:
    NO STUDENT will be EXPELLED
    Even though they were academically UNQUALIFIED.
    .
    Lesson… Cheating pays.
    .

  7. To summaries: wealthy parents spread the wealth amongst various service providers (tutors, essay Writers, etc.) to send their kids to school where they’ll spend another $300k on a bachelors degree. Sounds like they are the losers. A better question is, why is this investigation happening now? It’s not like coaching ppl to get into schools is a new thing. Wouldn’t the same investigators be better used to catch fentanil distributors? Just a month ago billionaires were caught paying for sex (what a crime!) and now this. Who’s directing these investigations?

  8. These people are all big time limousine liberals.

  9. ” It’s not like coaching ppl to get into schools is a new thing”
    .
    You mean “coaching” as in giving paper bags full of cash to:
    – have others take your kid’s SAT tests
    – have coaches “recruit” your kid onto imaginary spots on Division 1 teamns?.
    .
    Are you afraid they will come after you?
    .

  10. “Kids, don’t do as I say OR do.”

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