Hollywood actresses among dozens indicted in $25m USA college scam

This image provided by the FBI shows the wanted poster for Monica Witt

William "Rick" Singer, 58, has been charged with operating a racketeering scheme through his business Edge College & Career Network, which serviced an array of rich people like Hollywood celebrities and CEOs. Her husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged, though an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent stated in an affidavit that he was in the room when Huffman first heard the pitch from a scam insider.

Loughlin's attorney Marc Harris noted that the actress is under contract for two additional projects filming in Vancouver in April and May, as well as production on a series beginning in July. Huffman posted a US$250,000 bond after an appearance in federal court in Los Angeles.

According to court documents, cited by AP, Huffman paid $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation so her daughter could take part in the college entrance-exam cheating scam.

These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege.

According to the US-based media reports, Hollywood actresses Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been charged along with almost 50 other people in what the United States prosecutors say was a scheme in which wealthy parents paid bribes to get their children into some of the nation's most elite colleges by faking or facilitating ACT/SAT exams.

The Desperate Housewives star and Loughlin - along with approximately 40 others - have been charged with involvement cheating and fraud scandal, which has been labelled as the "largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice".

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The actress was reportedly asleep in her Los Angeles home with her husband and their three daughters when the agents ordered her to "come out and surrender". Dozens, including Huffman, the Emmy-winning star, were reportedly arrested by midday.

A Hallmark Channel spokeswoman said the network hasn't decided what effect, if any, her arrest will have on programming.

Those involved could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The coaches worked at schools such as Yale University, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

John Vandemoor, a former Stanford University sailing coach, is also scheduled to plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges.

Many other cases involved photo fraud, according to Lelling. A number of the institutions moved quickly to fire or suspend the coaches and distance their name from the scandal, portraying themselves as victims.

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