Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker
“Hey America, can you believe this shit?”
March 14, 2019
BOSTON/LOS ANGELES (Rueters) – A $25 million scheme to help wealthy Americans secure places for their idiot children in top US colleges has swept up famous actresses Lori Loughlin of “Full House” and Felicity Huffman of “Desperate Housewives,” but prosecutors say the list of 50 suspects already named could easily double or more in coming weeks.
“We’ve been investigating this scam since last year,” said Andrew Lelling, US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “But we’re in no way close to done. We believe as many as 750 families may have participated in this giant fraud.”
Lelling told reporters Wednesday Loughlin and Huffman are among more than four dozen people charged with paying millions of dollars, in some cases, through a bogus charity that funneled bribes to test administrators, college officials and coaches. The goal was to get dumbass children of the wealthy into elite universities — such as University of Southern California (USC), Yale, Georgetown and Stanford — they otherwise had no hope of attending.
Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 to help cheat her intellectually challenged daughters’ ways into USC by bribing coaches at the school to pretend the girls were highly intelligent, gifted athletes. “Somehow,” Lelling said, “USC went for it and now these two nitwits (Olivia, 19, and Isabella, 20), are taking the place of two other more worthy applicants.”
Huffman has been charged with paying $15,000 to the scheme’s organizer, William “Rick” Singer, for a substitute to sit the SAT exams for her older daughter, Sofia, 18. “She’s not the sharpest crayon in the box,” Huffman was recorded by law enforcement saying in a phone conversation with Singer. “I doubt she could figure out how to fill in her name. She’ll need someone else to pretend she’s her – probably for most of her life.”
FBI agents on Tuesday took Huffman into custody at her Hollywood home, with guns drawn, after her diminutive husband, actor William H. Macy, threatened to punch an agent. “It was kind of hilarious, seeing this little runt threaten one of our guys, but we arrested him anyway,” an FBI spokesman told Rueters.
Mugshots of Lori Loughlin (left), Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy. Agents reported all three took their arrests “pretty hard.” (Photos courtesy FBI)
The mastermind of the scheme, Singer, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston say his company, Edge College & Career Network, amassed $25 million through the fraud.
Singer ended up cooperating with investigators last year, telling them his plan was based on identical schemes used as far back as the 1950s, a scam nearly as old as television itself.
“How do you think Ozzie and Harriet got their two moron sons into USC,” Singer reportedly told the US attorney’s office. “Not with brains. They needed someone like me, someone who could sneak them in the back door. Rick could sort of play guitar and David could blow on a trumpet, so they were ‘nominated’ for the USC Marching Mariachis, which of course didn’t exist. But they got in, anyway.”
Ozzie and Harriet Nelson with sons Rick (left) and David in late 1950s; Nelson boys in USC’s fake Marching Mariachis (David far left, Rick far right) (Photos from Getty Images)
The elaborate scheme involved bribing the administrators of college entrance tests to allow a child’s wrong answers to be corrected and bribing university athletic coaches to attest a child was a bright student or gifted athlete even if he or she were anything but.
In some instances, Singer helped doctor photographs to make a child appear athletic or especially clever.
Olivia Jade Giannulli, YouTube darling and daughter of Lori Laughlin, shows off curling “skills” in photo for USC application form; then practicing counting for remedial “Introduction to Numbers” course (Photos courtesy USC)
Isabella Giannulli, older daughter of Lori Loughlin, seen rehearsing famous “Zamboni Maneuver” (sometimes called the ‘snowplow’) during first day of practice on USC’s figure skating team. Isabella claimed in her college application she was “in love with the ice.” Make that shaved ice. (Photo courtesy ESPN’s ‘Not Top Ten Plays’)
Parents made their payments to a sham charity that Singer ran, prosecutors said, which also allowed them to make a fraudulent tax write-off. The sham charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, purported to help provide an education to “underprivileged students.”
It was unclear how many children benefited from the scheme, though investigators said more parents and coaches may yet be charged.
Former “Bay Watch” star Pamela Anderson is rumored to be in the US attorney’s sights. Her son, Brandon, whose SAT scores were in the single digits, according to a source at the College Board, became the first member of the University of Miami’s ski jumping team – with the assistance of a coach who accepted a $750,000 bribe to push for the idiot’s acceptance to “Suntan U.”
Brandon Lee, older son of actress Pamela Anderson, sticks the landing during practice for “varsity ski jumping team” at University of Miami. (Photo courtesy Miami Herald)
Representatives of accused parents either declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries. Several of the coaches accused of accepting bribes have been fired, placed on leave or resigned, according to their respective universities.