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.