March 12, 2019 / 7:08 PM / 8 months ago

Factbox: Celebrities, business leaders charged in U.S. college fraud scheme

(Reuters) - Federal prosecutors charged 50 people on Tuesday in a $25 million scheme to help celebrities, CEOs and other wealthy Americans cheat their children’s way into elite universities, including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.

FILE PHOTO: Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The following is a look at some of those who have been charged:


Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin, who starred as Becky on the ABC sitcom “Full House,” and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, the founder of clothing company Mossimo, were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes in 2016 and 2017 to have their two daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team. The couple’s daughters, however, never participated in crew, according to prosecutors.


Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman, who played Lynette Scavo on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” was accused of paying $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter in 2017. Felicity Huffman is also accused of making a similar arrangement for her second daughter before deciding against it.


Boutique marketing firm chief executive officer Jane Buckingham, who has appeared on “The Today Show,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and “The View” is accused of paying $50,000 to have another person to take the ACT exam for her son in July of 2018. Buckingham gave a handwriting sample from her son to the other person so that he could attempt to match his handwriting on the exam, the complaint said.


Douglas Hodge, the former CEO of the investment management firm Pimco, was accused of paying bribes from 2008 to 2015 in order to get two of his children into USC, one as a football recruit and the other for soccer. He also is accused of having another daughter falsify her application to Georgetown in which she indicated she won multiple United States Tennis Association matches, though she had never played a USTA match, according to the complaint.


Manuel Henriquez, founder and CEO of specialty finance lender Hercules Capital, along with his wife Elizabeth Henriquez were charged with taking part on four occasions in a college entrance exam cheating scheme for their two daughters, starting in the fall of 2015. They also are accused of conspiring with Gordon Ernst, the head tennis coach at Georgetown University, to designate one of their daughters as a tennis recruit in order to get her into the school.


Gordon Caplan, a co-chairman of international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, was charged with paying $75,000 in November and December of 2018 for a proctor to correct his daughter’s ACT exam after she took it. Caplan is also accused of meeting with a Los Angeles psychologist in an effort to get medical documentation so his daughter could receive extra time to take the test, according to the complaint.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Scott Malone and James Dalgleish

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