National

TV stars, Stanford coach among those charged in college cheating scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in addition to the head sailing coach at Stanford are among at least 40 other people indicted in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal.

The racketeering conspiracy charges were unsealed Tuesday against the coaches at schools including Wake Forest University, Georgetown, Stanford, and the University of Southern California.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer is involved in the scam and will reportedly plead guilty later this afternoon. 

>> Click here to see Vandemoer's charging documents

Stanford released a statement in response to the scandal saying they have terminated Vandemoer and they "have no evidence that the alleged conduct involved anyone else at Stanford." 

Loughlin appeared in the ABC sitcom "Full House," and Huffman starred in ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

Both were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in indictments unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Boston.

Court documents say Huffman paid $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation so her daughter could partake in the college entrance cheating scam.

Court papers say a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them.

The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse "agreed to the plan."

Huffman is married to actor William H. Macy.

No students were charged, with authorities saying that in many cases the teenagers were not aware of what was going on. And several of the colleges involved made no mention of expelling or taking any other action against the students.

The massive scam was revealed after authorities reportedly discovered a California businessman in charge of an operation helping students get into their college of choice.

Authorities say the coaches accepted bribes in exchange for admitting students as athletes, regardless of their ability.

Prosecutors say parents paid an admissions consultant $25 million from 2011 through Feb. 2019 to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into schools.

Prosecutors allege that fake athletic profiles were also made to make students look like strong high school athletes when they actually weren't.

 

 

Authorities say the consulting company also bribed administrators of college entrance exams to allow a Florida man to take the tests on behalf of students or replace their answers with his.

Charged by Information
Defendant Charges Case Status U.S. District Court
William Rick SINGER Racketeering conspiracy; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to defraud US; obstruction of justice    District of Massachusetts
Rudolph “Rudy” MEREDITH Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud; honest services wire fraud   District of Connecticut
Mark RIDDELL Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering   Middle District of Florida
John VANDEMOER Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Northern District of California
Charged by Indictment
Defendant Charges Case Status U.S. District Court
Igor DVORSKIY Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Gordon ERNST  Conspiracy to commit racketeering   District of Maryland
William FERGUSON Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Western District of North Carolina
Martin FOX Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Southern District of Texas
Donna HEINEL Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Laura JANKE Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Ali KHOSROSHAHIN Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Steven MASERA Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Eastern District of California
Jorge SALCEDO Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Mikaela SANFORD Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Eastern District of California
David SIDOO Conspracy to commit mail and wire fraud 3/12 Northern District of California
Jovan VAVIC Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Central District of California 
Niki WILLIAMS Conspiracy to commit racketeering   Southern District of Texas
Charged by Complaint
Defendant Charges Case Status U.S. District Court
Gregory ABBOTT Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Southern District of New York
Marcia ABBOTT Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Southern District of New York
Gamal ABDELAZIZ Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   District of Nevada
Diane BLAKE Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Todd BLAKE Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Jane BUCKINGHAM Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Gordon CAPLAN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   District of Connecticut
Michael CENTER Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Western District of Texas
I-Hsin “Joey” CHEN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Amy COLBURN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Gregory COLBURN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Robert FLAXMAN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Mossimo GIANNULLI Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Elizabeth HENRIQUEZ Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Manuel HENRIQUEZ Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Douglas HODGE Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Felicity HUFFMAN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Agustin HUNEEUS Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Bruce ISACKSON Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Davina ISACKSON Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Michelle JANAVS Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Elisabeth KIMMEL Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   District of Nevada
Marjorie KLAPPER Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Lori LOUGHLIN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Toby MACFARLANE Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Southern District of California
William McGLASHAN Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Marci PALATELLA Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Peter Jan SARTORIO Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Northern District of California
Stephen SEMPREVIVO Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Devin SLOANE Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
John WILSON Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Southern District of Texas
Homayoun ZADEH Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Central District of California 
Robert ZANGRILLO Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud   Southern District of Florida

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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