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$ 25 million over 8 years: how did the fraudulent scheme for admission to top US universities work?

US education system appeared in the center of a fraudulent and corruption scandal.

Фото: Depositphotos

Edition "AiF " told the details of the scandalous scheme of admission to prestigious American universities, disclosed by the FBI.

The best universities accepted students from particularly well-to-do families after transferring money to the account of “intermediaries”. Some even made out as "promising athletes."

"Desperate Housewife" went to court

A Los Angeles court has authorized the release of actress Felicity Huffman on bail at 250. 56-year-old Huffman - the star of the TV series "Desperate Housewives" and "American Crime", the owner of "Emmy", "Golden Globe" and the Screen Actors Guild Award. Now the actress will have to try on the role of the defendant in real life.

Felicity Huffman is married to actor William Macy, an Oscar nominee and an Emmy laureate. The star couple has two daughters: 18-year-old Sofia and Georgia, whose 14 March will be 17. It was precisely because of maternal love for Sofia that the “desperate housewife” came under investigation.

How the fraud scheme worked

Felicity was worried about how Sofia would pass the SAT and ACT tests, which take American colleges into account when recruiting students.

58-year-old William Singer, the company's head of university preparation, volunteered to help her. Mr. Singer offered the star of the serials the following scheme: first, Sophia, under the pretext of difficulties in preparing for the test, is seeking to postpone it. Then the girl is sent to take a test in one of the schools in Texas or California. There Singer had his people who helped depending on the situation. Sometimes it was about sending the correct answers in advance, sometimes Singer's accomplice corrected the mistakes made. And sometimes they did without a client: the test was written in his absence.

The cost of the service was determined by the “complexity” of each particular case. Felicity Huffman paid Singer 15 thousands of dollars for a good SAT result for Sofia. The money was transferred to the Singer charity fund account.

According to the materials of the case, the father also helped his daughter. For some reason, however, no charges were brought against William Macy.

Fake athletes: actress Lori Laughlin added daughters to college for 500 000 dollars

In the United States, becoming a university student is possible not only because of good knowledge, but also as a promising athlete. Many NBA stars began their journey to fame and big contracts through university basketball. William Singer also did not avoid this possibility of entering the university. His assistants fabricated a dossier on a potential student, including photographs in which he was credited with nonexistent sporting achievements. Of course, this could not have worked if it had not been for the coaches of university teams and other influential people from the leadership of universities who were paid by Singer to accept fake athletes. There is no question of any 15 thousands of dollars. Another American TV star Lori Laughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Gianulli, paid thousands of dollars to Singer 500 for bringing their daughters to Olivia and Isabella to the University of Southern California. The girls were given for rowing masters.

Million Dollar Footballer

But this is not a record. The rich parents of one girl wanted so much to arrange a daughter at Yale University that they paid Singer for the services of 1,2 a million dollars. And he, in turn, made a football star out of a client and arranged her for the university's women's football team. This was made possible thanks to a bribe in the amount of 400 thousand dollars, which received the head coach of the women's football team at Yale University, Rudolf Meredith.

The authorities claim that they conducted the most extensive investigation of corruption schemes when they entered universities in US history. Currently, charges have been filed against 50 people, 33 of whom are parents who paid Singer. The defendants face up to 20 years in prison. William Singer himself admitted his guilt and actively cooperates with the investigation, giving testimony both to those who helped him in universities, and to wealthy parents who turned to him for help.

25 million for eight years

The indictment states that between 2011 and February 2019, Singer received 25 million dollars from parents wishing to provide an elite education for their children. It does not specify how much of this money he spent on bribes, and how much he put in his pocket. The investigation believes that many children might not be aware of how parents helped them enroll in elite educational institutions. However, now these young people are faced with this harassment on the Internet.

Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as the universities of Texas and Southern California are among the universities that Singer arranged for children of solvent parents.

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