Celebrities appear in Boston court as part of college admissions scandal


Images credit to Wikimedia Commons. Collage by Noah Katcher.

Actresses Lori Loughlin (left) and Felicity Huffman (right) appeared in Boston court this month as part of the college admissions scandal. Loughlin, Huffman and nearly 50 other parents face possible jail time as part of this bribery scheme, and plea deals have already been made.

After weeks in the spotlight, celebrities such as Lori Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and Felicity Huffman faced a judge in the college admissions scandal that has shocked the country. More than 45 wealthy celebrities, lawyers, CEOs and executives have been caught bribing top colleges and universities around the country to accept their teens. The scandal ranges from falsely claiming students are athletes to paying proctors to correct SAT and ACT scores after the test to give these kids the best shot at the nation’s most competitive institutions.

Loughlin and Giannulli are facing an intense sentence for this bribery scam. They bribed coaches and staff members at University of Southern California (USC) twice to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into the institution, which has an 18% acceptance rate.

“Those girls took spots at USC and other colleges that would have been taken by students who worked their tails off to do so,” senior Sophia Lansell said.

After arriving in Massachusetts on a private jet, Loughlin signed autographs in Boston’s Logan International Airport on her way to court. While no prison sentence or final decision has been issued yet, Loughlin and Huffman, among other parents involved in this scandal, face some restrictions while on bail: they will have limited ability to travel from their homes, they must receive court permission to travel abroad for their careers and they are not allowed to have firearms in their homes or break any additional laws.

“I believe that Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman should have to suffer through the publicity of their court cases and should be faced with major fines and possibly misdemeanor jail time,” Lansell said.

Now that Huffman and Loughlin appeared in court, they will have the option of moving forward by negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutors involved in this case. There have been four guilty plea deals negotiated so far, out of the 50 individuals charged in this case.

“They are no better than the rest of us and should go to jail,” senior Sophie Hannah said.

At the center of this scandal is college “counselor” Rick Singer. Parents reached out to him, and had him organize cheating on the SAT to boost their kids chances of getting into top institutions. Over the years, Singer was paid over $25 million from all of the parents and families he “counseled.” In addition, he made his counseling firm a charity, so that all of the money these parents spent became tax deductible.
“It’s hilarious how bad one’s grades would have to be to be admitted for half a million dollars. This illustrates how the rich have more opportunities,” Hannah said.

Singer was investigated by the FBI last June as the case was being put together, and it became very clear to investigators that Singer was at the center of this bribery scheme.

“What we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school,” Singer said .