In allegations that sent shock waves through academia, federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused top CEOs, two Hollywood actresses and a legendary fashion designer of taking part in an audacious scheme to get their children into elite universities through fraud, bribes and lies.The scheme, which began in 2011, centered around the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company that wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown, according to court records.Fifty people, across academia and college sports as well as a cadre of super-wealthy parents, have been charged in what prosecutors say is the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.,Some parents participated in one aspect of the scheme, while others paid for both, stealing slots from hard-working students with legitimate grades and test scores, authorities said.William Rick Singer, who owns the admissions company called the Edge College Career Network, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice, racketeering and conspiracy to defraud the United States.,In at least one instance, a student claimed to have a learning disability to obtain medical documentation required by the College Board and ACT Inc. to grant additional time on the tests, according to court documents.Once the students were given additional time, which generally allowed them to take the test over two days instead of one and in an individual setting, the clients were instructed to change the location of the exam to either a public high school in Houston or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood that Singer controlled, according to the documents.At those locations, prosecutors allege, Singer bribed test administrators Igor Dvorskiy, of Los Angeles, and Lisa Niki Williams, of Houston, with the parents money to facilitate cheating on the exams.,Singer had a psychologist on his team assign fake learning disabilities to give students an academic advantage, the charges say.Coaches and private admissions counselors allegedly received money for helping to get students admitted as athletes at Yale, Stanford and USC.USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and mens and womens water polo coach Jovan Vavic were alleged to have received bribes totaling more than $1.3 million and $250,000, respectively, to help parents take advantage of the relaxed admissions standards for athletes at USC even though their children were not legitimately being recruited as athletes.,It described spending thousands of dollars on trips for dental students to help needy Cambodians and offering math tutoring to underserved children in Oakland.Prosecutors said the charity was nothing more than a means to launder money to an array of people requiring bribes.Our contributions to major athletic university programs may help to provide placement to students that may not have access under normal channels, the organization stated in tax documents.Federal law enforcement began the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, in May 2018, based on a tip from a confidential source who was being interviewed as part of a separate investigation, said FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta.Make no mistake: This is not a case where parents were acting in the best interests of their children.
With the first contests unfolding next year in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, small-town voters will play a critical role in choosing the next Democratic nominee.,Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lamented rural decline during an Iowa swing this weekend.,Several candidates plan to attend a March 30 rural issues forum at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa — population 10,600.,AP VoteCast, a national survey of more than 115,000 voters, found rural and small-town residents cast 35 percent of midterm ballots; 56 percent of those voted for Republican House candidates, compared to 41 percent for Democrats.,Sanders noted that many Vermonters, as in the rest of rural America, view guns differently than most big-city residents, but Clinton successfully used the issue against Sanders, particularly with black women.
After years of planning and construction, Disney announced Thursday that the new “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” will open on May 31.,A rendering of Galaxy’s Edge.,(Illustration by Disney Parks/Lucasfilm via Getty Images)
“You’ll be able to live your own Star Wars story and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, sample amazing galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and more,” the company said in a news release.,RELATED: Drone Gives Sneak Peek At ‘Star Wars Land’
It’s been 14 years since Ohio raised the rate of tax on motor fuel.,Hearings today, Wednesday and Thursday are before the House Finance Committee on the fiscal year 2020-2021 transportation budget, House Bill 62 and the proposal to raise Ohio’s motor fuel tax by 18 cents.,The last time the motor fuel tax was raised was in 2005, according to the Greater Ohio Policy Center, when the Ohio legislature increased the rate by 2 cents per gallon from 26 cents per gallon to the current 28 cents per gallon.,If Ohio legislators were to pass the increase in March, Pennsylvania would still keep the highest motor fuel tax rate of states bordering Ohio.,The Ohio Municipal League, County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio Township Association have all released positions in support of the tax increase in the last week.
UPDATE (Friday, 1:48 p.m.): ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Patriots owner Robert Kraft is “not the biggest name involved" in the Jupiter, Fla. sex sting.,New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with “soliciting prostitution” as part of “sex sting operation” in Florida.,According to Treasure Coast Newspapers (via USA Today), Kraft is facing two counts for “paying for sexual services at Orchids of Asia Day Spa” in Jupiter, Fla.,Kraft also has been a regular visitor to Trump National Golf Club Mar-a-Lago, which is about 30 minutes from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.,The 77-year-old Kraft is less than one month removed from celebrating his sixth Super Bowl title.
Now, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute after police said he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at a massage parlor in Florida amid a crackdown on sex trafficking.,Last year, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sold the team after allegations surfaced of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.,Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was sued by former employees during the days of the Big Red Machine for being a racist and, at one point, was quoted in The New York Times as saying Adolf Hitler initially was good for Germany; that her use of racially inappropriate words was in jest; and that she didn't understand why certain ethnically insulting words were offensive.,Last year, NASCAR's Brian France , whose family owns the stock car racing circuit and many of the tracks where it competes, was arrested in New York on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.,Perhaps the most documented misbehavior by a franchise owner occurred with George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in Florida, a result of a multi-agency investigation into an alleged human trafficking ring, police said Friday.,Kraft, 77, is one of 25 individuals being charged in Jupiter with soliciting prostitution in connection with the law enforcement sting, police said.,“Our concern in this investigation centers around the possibility of victims of human trafficking, the appearance maybe of that,” Jupiter Police Chief Daniel J. Kerr said Friday during a press conference.,At a Tuesday press conference, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said the overall investigation began last July, when detectives responded to a complaint from the county’s health department reporting signs of potential human trafficking at a local massage parlor.,Because Kraft is not a resident of the state, an arrest warrant will be issued for him in Florida related to the charges, police said.
FILE - In this June 7, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks with reporters following an NFL football minicamp practice, in Foxborough, Mass.,less
FILE - In this June 7, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks with reporters following an NFL football minicamp practice, in Foxborough, Mass.,Police in Florida have charged New ... more
Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.
R.C. Slocum spent nearly three decades coaching football at Texas AM, and if the rules changed, recruiting didn't.,But money, social media and the pursuit of national glory changed recruiting in the Lone Star State, at least at Texas and AM.,For the first time in 20 years, Texas, AM and Oklahoma will finish in the top five of the 247Sports' composite recruiting rankings.,Now that recruiting budgets at Texas and AM have climbed into seven figures, it's easier for coaches to go national as well as fly recruits in for visits.,Besides 10 Texas recruits this year, he signed players from Georgia, California, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Washington D.C.