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.

Seneca County commissioners are to talk about appointing an interim treasurer and hiring a firm for a facility master plan when they meet at 10 a.m. today at their office, 111 Madison St.

An interim treasurer must be appointed by Feb. 1 to replace Damon Alt until the Republican Central Committee decides on a new treasurer Feb. 7.,The board also is expected to consider repairs on equipment at the Seneca County Airport, appointing members to the Museum Advisory Board, authorizing the sale of a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria, a contract for medical services with Dr. Chris Sears on behalf of Seneca County Sheriff’s Office and a contract with Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center for GED instructions for Seneca County Jail inmates.,• A $90,021.80 supplemental appropriation to the County Engineer’s Maintenance and Repair Fund for equipment.,• A $16,700 supplemental appropriation to the Community Development Block Grant Fund for restroom upgrades at the County Services Building.,• A $10,000 fund transfer from the LGF General Fund to the Soil and Water Fund. read more