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[News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

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[News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:22 am

ABC News
Hollywood actors, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and a slew of chief executives are among 50 people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam, according to court records unsealed in Boston Tuesday.

Those indicted allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said.

"Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants -- principally individuals whose high-school age children were applying to college -- conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children's admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California -- Los Angeles," the indictment said.

In most cases the students did not know their admission was contingent on a bribe, officials said.

The 200 pages of charging documents in the case were unsealed in Boston federal court.

According to the charging papers, Huffman "made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 ... to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter."

"Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so," the documents allege.

Federal agents secretly recorded telephone calls with Huffman and a cooperating witness, according to the court papers.

The documents say actress Lori Loughlin -- best known for her role as Aunt Becky on the ABC sitcom "Full House" -- and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team -- despite the fact that they did not participate in crew -- thereby facilitating their admission to USC."
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by hepcat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:30 am

That's...pretty huge. :shock:
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:36 am

Sorry but $250K per kid just to get into USC? How bad are those kids? Or does that include tuition?

It's getting unreal, honestly. There are days where I feel like we should just move to the UP and go all Hanna with the kids.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:38 am

NBC News
Prosecutors said the scheme was masterminded by William Rick Singer, the founder of a for-profit college preparation business based in Newport Beach, California.

Parents paid Singer between $15,000 and $75,000 per test for someone else to take the SAT or ACT exams in place of their college-aged sons or daughters, according to the court papers.

Singer facilitated the cheating by advising students to seek "extended time on the exams, including by having their children purport to have learning disabilities in order to obtain medical documentation that ACT," the indictment says.

Prosecutors said Singer used the cash to bribe two people who administered the exams — Igor Dvorsiky, of Los Angeles, and Lisa "Niki" Williams, of Houston.

Dvorsiky and Williams, in exchange for receiving the payments, allowed Mark Riddell, a Florida man hired by Singer, to secretly take the tests or to replace the children’s answers with his own, according to the indictment.

Riddell was paid roughly $10,000 per test, money that was often funneled through a charity account set up by Singer, the indictment says.

From 2011 to last month, parents paid Singer roughly $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators to "designate their children as recruited athletes, or other favored admissions categories," according to the court papers.

In some cases, Singer’s associates created fake athletic “profiles” in an effort to improve the students chances of getting accepted by making them appear to be highly successful high school athletes.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:40 am

Holy crap.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by McNutt » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:45 am

I worked with ACT and SAT tests at a university and it's hard to improve when someone else takes your test for you. The tests are broken out into several areas (not telling you guys something you don't already know) and there is only so much improvement allowed in each test score. If your Math ACT was a 22 and jumps to a 30, you're getting flagged. Doesn't matter what your overall score was. So it's hard to improve your overall score while keeping your subscores looking at all like the last time you took it.

I had test scores rejected all the time and I had to delete them from our system. I also reported quite a few for looking wonky and those were investigated and often rejected too.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:47 am

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Holman » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:57 am

What's odd is that none of the headlines mention William H. Macy, who is married to Huffman and is also implicated.

He's easily the biggest name involved here.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:03 pm

Holman wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:57 am
What's odd is that none of the headlines mention William H. Macy, who is married to Huffman and is also implicated.

He's easily the biggest name involved here.

Huffman and husband William H. Macy are alleged to have given a "charitable donation of $15,000" to participate in the scheme on behalf of their oldest daughter. Macy, however, is not listed in federal documents as among those hit with a charge.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by pr0ner » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:17 pm

Hodor.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:22 pm

WCVB
A witness met with Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan."

"Ultimately, Huffman's daughter received a score of 1420 in the SAT, an improvement of approximately 400 points over her PSAT," the complaint reads.
...
Others implicated include owners of a media company, vineyard, private equity firm, real estate development firm and a physician.

John Wilson, of Lynnfield, who owns a private equity and real estate development firm, is suspected of bribing the USC water polo coach to designate his son as a recruit to the USC men's water polo team.

"Wilson also sought to use bribes to to obtain the admission of his two daughters to Stanford University and Harvard University as recruited athletes," the complaint reads.
...
Singer is expected to plead guilty Tuesday in federal court.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Holman » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:27 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:03 pm
Holman wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:57 am
What's odd is that none of the headlines mention William H. Macy, who is married to Huffman and is also implicated.

He's easily the biggest name involved here.

Huffman and husband William H. Macy are alleged to have given a "charitable donation of $15,000" to participate in the scheme on behalf of their oldest daughter. Macy, however, is not listed in federal documents as among those hit with a charge.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Chrisoc13 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:35 pm

Holy crap... This is a huge story.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LordMortis » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:41 pm

Hasn't affluenza and wealth always bought its way in to universities? It's never made it right but it's weird to me that it's been a thing for so long while this group felt the need to pay five figures apiece to cheat on entrance exams and even more to bribe people to lie about achievements.

Beyond that, I don't know who these headliners are, except Macy, not named...

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Felicity Huffman - Desperate Housewives, Sports Night

Lori Loughlin - Full (and Fuller) House
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Paingod » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm

My whole life I assumed rich parents just paid colleges to take their kids in regardless of tests, scores, or SAT's. I didn't know it was a bribery thing, I thought it was a privilege thing.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm


Spoiler:
US Attorney re the Huffman/Loughlin (among others) college scam: "We're not talking about donating a building...we're talking about fraud."
...
This quote is actually illuminating. "Why didnt the rich people just exert their influence the socially acceptable way?"
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm

Image
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by hepcat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:01 pm

I wonder how Huffman broke the news to her oldest daughter that mommy and daddy loved her, but that she wasn't exactly the brightest bulb on the tree so they were hiring a smart person to take her place.

Also, I'm kind of pissed my parents didn't try to use a bribe to get me OUT of going to Akron University...
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:10 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm
Image
That's exactly it. And the scale. You can only have so many buildings and honestly, if someone donates $18M for a new building that's got to have some kind of payback. And everyone knows it.

But if you lower the bar, to say 250K$ or even 15K$ and make them off book bribes to individuals that do not benefit the University, that's going a bit far.

Think about it. A legacy kid from a rich family who donates a building gets in. Pool is diluted maybe but very slightly. Plus the odds that that kid goes on to be rich and donate more and also be a networking boon to other students are high. And the school approves, through the proper channels.

But here you have no approval, you have cheating on tests that harms other students and you have a much lower bar to enter meaning far more spots taken and nore dilutive admissions.


There is a huge difference.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:20 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:22 pm
WCVB
"Ultimately, Huffman's daughter received a score of 1420 in the SAT, an improvement of approximately 400 points over her PSAT," the complaint reads.
Percentiles (PDF)

An 11th-grade PSAT score of 1020 would place her at the 63rd percentile of a Nationally Representative Sample, 52nd percentile of PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 User.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Skinypupy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:00 pm

This tweet has aged well. :lol:

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:12 pm

How about last week?

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by $iljanus » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:14 pm

And the “charitable” contributions can be used as tax deductions. The rich have the best schemes!
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by $iljanus » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:15 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:12 pm
How about last week?

Felicity is creating a federal indictment today!
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by McNutt » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:35 pm

"Don't just go through life, grow through life."

A prime example of why I don't do Twitter of Facebook.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:39 pm

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by gameoverman » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:43 pm

The saddest part of this story to me is that these parents had all these years to prep their children for college. They obviously had the resources too. Yet their children are so unprepared when it's time to start applying that the parents need to buy their way in. If you've raised your kid to skate by with no worries, and pay to get past obstacles, what's the point of them going to college? They can say "My kid went to Harvard" but what good is that if it's all a sham? Their kids probably would have been better off by attending a school that legitimately accepted them. If no school would then they'd be better off putting in the work to improve themselves to the point a school would accept them.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Scuzz » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:45 pm

Donating a building is going thru the school to get what you want, paying this guy is going around the school. The schools didn't need to know what was going on and so may not have even been involved, except for something I heard on ESPN this morning.

Of all the coaches who took money, one donated all the money to charity. Many gave part of the money to their schools, which should have been a red flag to those schools as it may have indicated a violation.

You do have to wonder how the kids didn't know someone was testing for them. Or being listed on the crew team was not a mistake?

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Jaymann » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:53 pm

William Macy starring as The Schooler.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:15 pm

Why didn't they just build a new wing in the hospital/law school/engineering department like everyone else?

Edit:. I see I'm late to the party.

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by JSHAW » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:20 pm

Is it as simple as rich parents with dumb kids paying off various entities illegally to get their kids into upper crust colleges? :think:

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:33 pm

CNBC
Among those charged are Douglas Hodge, a former CEO of Pimco investment management company; William McGlashan Jr., a senior executive at TPG Capital; Agustin Huneeus, head of the Huneeus vineyard in Napa Valley; and Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of international law firm Willkie Farr.

Also charged were:
— Manuel Henriquez, chairman and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, whose stock price fell more than 9 percent Tuesday afternoon;

— Robert Flaxman, founder and CEO of real estate development firm Crown Realty & Development, which says it has a portfolio value over nearly $600 million for properties primarily in California, Arizona, Virginia, Idaho and North Carolina;

— Robert Zangrillo, CEO of Dragon Global, an investment company. Dragon Global’s website says its funds have managed investments of more than $1 billion in companies that now have over $500 billion market value, including Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Jet.com and Ulta.
...
Lori Loughlin, who appeared in ABC’s “Full House,” were charged, along with Loughlin’s husband Mossimo Giannulli, founder of the American fashion company Mossimo. William Singer, CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was identified by authorities as the ringleader of the scheme.
Detailed list at the link.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:38 pm

But all we were doing was buying our kids legitimacy for their life of privilege. Punishing us for it is un-American!

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:39 pm

I like bribers that don't get caught.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:52 pm

This is just going to be the Citizens United of college admissions. Why should the government get involved with independent expenditures to communicate intentions? $100 bills attached to college applications are people, my friend!

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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:58 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:33 pm
CNBC
Among those charged are Douglas Hodge, a former CEO of Pimco investment management company; William McGlashan Jr., a senior executive at TPG Capital; Agustin Huneeus, head of the Huneeus vineyard in Napa Valley; and Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of international law firm Willkie Farr.

Also charged were:
— Manuel Henriquez, chairman and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, whose stock price fell more than 9 percent Tuesday afternoon;

— Robert Flaxman, founder and CEO of real estate development firm Crown Realty & Development, which says it has a portfolio value over nearly $600 million for properties primarily in California, Arizona, Virginia, Idaho and North Carolina;

— Robert Zangrillo, CEO of Dragon Global, an investment company. Dragon Global’s website says its funds have managed investments of more than $1 billion in companies that now have over $500 billion market value, including Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Jet.com and Ulta.
...
Lori Loughlin, who appeared in ABC’s “Full House,” were charged, along with Loughlin’s husband Mossimo Giannulli, founder of the American fashion company Mossimo. William Singer, CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was identified by authorities as the ringleader of the scheme.
Detailed list at the link.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by stessier » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:37 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:52 pm
This is just going to be the Citizens United of college admissions. Why should the government get involved with independent expenditures to communicate intentions? $100 bills attached to college applications are people, my friend!
I know you're joking, but there are very strong and clear anti-bribery statutes. Or at least all my workplace training indicates this is the case.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Pyperkub » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:56 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:33 pm
CNBC
Among those charged are Douglas Hodge, a former CEO of Pimco investment management company; William McGlashan Jr., a senior executive at TPG Capital; Agustin Huneeus, head of the Huneeus vineyard in Napa Valley; and Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of international law firm Willkie Farr.

Also charged were:
— Manuel Henriquez, chairman and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, whose stock price fell more than 9 percent Tuesday afternoon;

— Robert Flaxman, founder and CEO of real estate development firm Crown Realty & Development, which says it has a portfolio value over nearly $600 million for properties primarily in California, Arizona, Virginia, Idaho and North Carolina;

— Robert Zangrillo, CEO of Dragon Global, an investment company. Dragon Global’s website says its funds have managed investments of more than $1 billion in companies that now have over $500 billion market value, including Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Jet.com and Ulta.
...
Lori Loughlin, who appeared in ABC’s “Full House,” were charged, along with Loughlin’s husband Mossimo Giannulli, founder of the American fashion company Mossimo. William Singer, CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was identified by authorities as the ringleader of the scheme.
Detailed list at the link.
From looking at the link, USC is going to be in deep doo-doo. Multiple coaches and this:
Donna Heinel, 57, of Long Beach, Calif., senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California.
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Re: [News] College Admissions Cheating Scam

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:00 pm

Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:56 pm
From looking at the link, USC is going to be in deep doo-doo. Multiple coaches and this:
If Penn State still has a football program, then no one has anything to worry about. This? This is an administrative issue.
stessier wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:37 pm
I know you're joking, but there are very strong and clear anti-bribery statutes.
Bribery? No, no. It's free speech! Information wants to be free, but colleges aren't!

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