Former The Edge of Night and 90210 star Lori Loughlin and ex-Desperate Housewives leading lady Felicity Huffman were two of 50 people charged by the Justice Department for participating in a college admissions bribery scheme, according to USA Today.
According to the indictment, between 2011 and 2018 defendants in the case funneled over $25 million through charitable accounts at The Key Worldwide Foundation to bribe coaches and university administrators at elite colleges.
In some cases, the funds were used to bribe entrance exam officials or to pay off third-party individuals who may have provided answers, took the place of a student or corrected test answers. In other cases, the funds were provided in exchange “for the bribes, the coaches and administrators agreed to designate the children of these clients as recruited athletes, or some other preferred category, thereby facilitating the children’s admission to the universities.”
Huffman–who is married to Another World grad and Shameless star William H. Macey–allegedly paid $15,000 to an organization that assisted her eldest daughter in cheating on SATs. The indictment alleges she later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time for her younger daughter, but did not follow through on it. Reportedly, there is a recording of a call between her and a cooperating witness.
The 10-month investigation also ensnared Loughlin, who is being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. According to the indictment, she and her husband agreed to pay $500,000 “in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team-despite the fact they did not participate in crew-thereby facilitating their admission to USC."
The indictment also reveals the father of one student donated stock valued $455,194 to the Key Worldwide Foundation in February of 2015 before making additional stock donations valued at $102,925 and $73,445 in April and May.
The investigation was code name "Operation Varsity Blues" which is a nod to the 1999 film Varsity Blues starring Jon Voight, James Van Der Beek, Paul Walker and Scott Caan.