NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - More than 50 people, including two celebrities and a lawyer from Connecticut, face charges for their suspected involvement in a college bribery scheme.,Investigators said more than 30 wealthy parents, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, Connecticut lawyer Gordon Caplan, and nine coaches were involved.,Among those coaches was a former soccer coach at Yale.,Investigators said Singer mailed former Yale soccer coach Rudy Meredith a check for $400,000.,According to court documents, Singer would take "Yale applicant 1's art portfolio" then "'revise' the materials to 'soccer.'"
The federal investigation into a massive cheating scandal in which prominent actors and business leaders got their children into elite universities included seeking records from several prominent Southern California prep schools, according to two sources familiar with the probe.The sources did not name the schools but said they are some of the most well-known private institutions in the area.,They said federal authorities issued subpoenas for records involving some of the students involved in the fraud case.One source with knowledge of the investigation stressed that officials are not at this point accusing the schools of wrongdoing but rather seeking information about student performance and other details.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.,He said they knowingly conspired to help their children cheat or buy their children admission to elite schools through fraud.Among those charged were Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.Huffman is in custody in Los Angeles, along with 11 others.,Law enforcement sources told The Times she was flying to Los Angeles to surrender.Loughlin, of Full House" fame, and Huffman, whose credits include the hit ABC show Desperate Housewives, are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.,According to court records, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, the famous creator of clothing brand Mossimo, agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team even though they did not participate in crew.Huffman is accused of disguising a $15,000 charitable payment in the bribery scheme, according to court records.
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.
William Rick Singer touted his charity as a way to open doors for disadvantaged students who grew up surrounded by gang violence.The Key Worldwide Foundations website says it funds dental care for needy Cambodians, after-school programs for children in 20 cities across the United States and life coaching to underprivileged girls in Los Angeles.But federal tax records reviewed by The Times showed the great majority of the charitys grants actually went to elite universities, including USC, Yale and New York University.,Fifty people have been charged in the probe.In 2016, the most recent year for which the records are available, Singers foundation gave $252,500 to the University of Texas Athletics, $50,000 to the USC Womens Athletics Board, $25,000 to the USC soccer program and $83,181 to NYU Athletics, the tax documents show.,In 2015, the nonprofit gave $250,000 to athletic programs at USC, including its water polo and womens volleyball programs, $294,000 to the University of Texas Athletics, $250,000 to Yale Summer Time Sports and $175,000 to Chapman University.That year, Friends of Cambodia received $19,200.,We take this matter very seriously and intend to review this relationship in depth to assure ourselves that our principles have not in any way been compromised.In 2014, USC sports programs received $225,000, while NYU Athletics received $203,998, the tax records show.,He cooperated with authorities in the investigation and pleaded guilty to the charges in Boston on Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.Prosecutors allege that well-to-do parents paid Singer to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records to enable them to gain admission to at least eight schools, a list that also includes UCLA, Stanford and Georgetown.Not all the schools named in the case received donations, according to the tax records.Federal law enforcement began the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, in May, based on a tip from a confidential source who was being interviewed as part of a separate investigation, said FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta.The government alleges that Singer instructed parents to donate funds to the charity as part of the scheme.
West Seneca East’s Vincent Pagliaccio and West Seneca West’s Zachary Walters recently put the finishing touches on their respective winter sports seasons by competing in this past weekend’s indoor track and boys swimming state championship meets.,After winning the 1,000-meter race at the Section VI Championships at Houghton College on Feb. 21 with a season-best time of 2 minutes, 38.23 seconds, Pagliaccio, a junior, went on to place 15th at the state indoor track championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.,“With Vinny coming off of a state meet cross country season and the addition of coach Kevin Arnold to the West Seneca East staff, it was the perfect combination for an outstanding winter season,” head indoor track coach Mike Schermerhorn said.,Walters, a senior on the combined district boys swimming team, was also unable to match what had been a record-setting effort at sectionals when he got to states, finishing 59th overall among public school competitors with his time of 54.78 seconds in the 100 butterfly.,Walters, who did help all three of the team’s relays earn top-eight finishes at sectionals for the first time since the East and West programs merged, is looking to continue his competitive swimming career at the next level, but Papke said the location where that will happen hasn’t been solidified as of yet.
RHINEBECK, N.Y. — District officials are paying close attention to reviews by Section IX that could affect which teams students will be eligible to participate with and the schools Rhinebeck can merge with.,District Athletic Director Steve Boucher said concern has been raised over mergers that have made some teams significantly better.,Boucher said the rules were updated to grant mergers for teams if one district cannot field a full roster but is making an effort to restore or establish the sport.,For sports such as golf and track that have both individual competitions and an overall team result, there would need to be a shortage of players for both districts that would prevent a school from winning the overall competition.,It prohibits the two districts from jointly having mixed squads for events that would involve relays, which Boucher said does unfairly affect athletes who are not part of the full team.
TARZANA (CBSLA) – Police were investigating an act of anti-Semitic vandalism at a synagogue in Tarzana Wednesday.,According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the vandalism was reported about 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, the same day it emerged that Turkish flags were hung at two Armenian schools in the San Fernando Valley.,School administrations and local leaders are condemning the acts, affirming it’s disrespectful to victims’ families of the Armenian genocide.,RELATED: Police Investigate Turkish Flags At Armenian Schools
The Turkish Ottoman Empire is blamed for the deaths of more than one million Armenians about a century ago.,Blumenfield said he was awaiting news from the LAPD about the synagogue graffiti and that he and his staff “stand ready to assist if there is anything we can do to help.”