CORRECTED-Resignations, Arrests After Huge American College Cheat Plot Exposed


(Corrects in "judicial documents", "in court", in the second paragraph)

By Nate Raymond and Alex Dobuzinskis

BOSTON / LOS ANGELES, March 13 (Reuters) – Actor Lori Loughlin and former director of the Pimco Financial Corporation are facing criminal charges Wednesday for a $ 25 million project aimed at Wealthy Americans find safety in their best kids American colleges.

The two are among the 50 people accused of participating in the biggest scam of this type in US history, which, according to the court, has led some 800 students to prestigious universities like Yale, Georgetown and Stanford by misleading the admission process.

Loughlin was arrested Wednesday morning by FBI agents in Los Angeles, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Former Pimco chief executive, Douglas Hodge, is to be brought to federal court in Boston, officials said.

Manuel Henriquez, another company involved in this case, resigned as chairman and CEO of Hercules Capital, the company said Wednesday.

The brain of the ploy, William "Rick" Singer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday for racketeering. Prosecutors at the US Attorney's Office in Boston said his company, Edge College & Career Network, had raised $ 25 million through fraud.

Singer finally cooperated with the investigators last year, helping them record the incriminating conversations he had with Loughlin, Henriquez and other relatives.

The system developed was to bribe the college entrance test administrators to allow a child to correct the wrong answers and corrupt academic sports coaches to prove that a child was a gifted athlete, even if it was something else. .

In some cases, Singer helped the doctor take pictures to make an athletic child appear. The parents paid their payments to a fake charity run by Singer, said the attorneys, which also allowed them to make a fraudulent tax deduction. The fictional charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, was supposed to help provide education for "underprivileged students".

Loughlin is accused of paying Singer $ 500,000 to help him cheat his daughters at the University of Southern California by buying rowing coaches at school to claim that the girls were rowers gifted. Her husband, designer Mossimo Gianulli, is also charged with fraud and appeared in court Tuesday in Los Angeles before being released on bail of $ 1 million.

One of the girls, Olivia Gianulli, has become an influential influencer on social media under the name "Olivia Jade".

"Officially student!", She presented as a caption on a picture that she posted in September on Instagram and showed it in her dorm USC, decorated with items ordered from the online retailer Amazon, who paid for it.

Other prominent parents indicted by the US Attorney's Office in Boston include Felicity Huffman, the actress who starred in "Desperate Housewives"; Gordon Caplan, co-chair of the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher; and Bill McGlashan Jr., who heads a private equity arm of private equity firm TPG Capital.

Representatives of the accused parents declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries. Many of the coaches accused of accepting bribes were fired, put on leave or resigned. (Written by Jonathan Allen, edited by Scott Malone and Susan Thomas)

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