The first lawsuit has been filed in the largest college cheating scandal in U.S. history. Reuters reports the scandal that netted 2 well-known actresses, wealthy CEOs, coaches, and 33 well-to-do parents has triggered a $500 billion civil lawsuit.
Federal prosecutors charged 50 people with the scheme to bribe college admission officials and change test scores on college entrance exams to get their children into elite schools.
Among those charged with mail fraud and bribery were Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, 54, and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli (pictured above), and former Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman, 56.
Huffman’s husband, respected actor William H. Macy was not charged.
A $500 billion civil lawsuit was filed by a parent on Wednesday in San Francisco accusing 45 people of defrauding and inflicting emotional distress on everyone whose “rights to a fair chance at entrance to college” were stolen through their alleged conspiracy.
The private litigation accuses well-connected parents of buying spots in elite colleges for their underachieving children, and keeping children of lesser means out.
Jennifer Kay Toy, a former teacher in Oakland, California, said her son Joshua was cheated out of admission to some colleges, despite his 4.2 grade point average.
Toy said she believes her son didn’t get into his schools of choice because wealthy parents thought it was “OK to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children’s way into a good college.”
READ ALSO: Actresses, Coaches Charged in College Entrance Cheating Scandal
None of the children of the wealthy defendants were charged, but schools are considering expelling the students if they had knowledge of the scheme.
A rep for USC tells The Blast anyone currently applying to the school “who are connected to the scheme alleged by the government will be denied admission to USC.”
Other elite schools involved in the scandal include Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale.
William Singer, the accused mastermind from California, was charged with taking $25 million in bribes from 800+ wealthy parents to get their children into schools that they would not otherwise qualify for academically.
Prosecutors say since 2011 Singer used his Edge College & Career Network and an affiliated nonprofit to help students cheat on college admission tests and bribe coaches to inflate the students’ athletic credentials to portray them as athletes when they never played a sport.
After the students gained admission to the schools, they claimed to be injured and could not actively participate in sports.
Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in federal court on Monday.
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