(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Nearly 50 people, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged on Tuesday (March 12) in what federal authorities say was a $25 million scam to help wealthy Americans get their children into elite universities like Yale and Stanford.
The most sweeping college admissions fraud scheme ever unearthed in the United States was masterminded at a small college-preparation company based in Newport Beach, California, prosecutors said.
It relied on bribes to coaches, phony test takers and even doctored photos misrepresenting non-athletic applicants as elite competitors to gain admissions for the offspring of rich parents.
William "Rick" Singer, 58, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges related to running the scheme through his Edge College & Career Network, which charged from $100,000 to as much as $2.5 million per child for the services, which were masked as contributions to a scam charity Singer runs.
Magistrate Judge Alexander MacKinnon ordered Huffman's release on a $250,000 bond before a March 29 hearing in Boston.
Loughlin's husband Mossimo Giannulli, a fashion designer known for his "Mossimo" brand, sat in court wearing a hooded sweatshirt and close-cropped hair.
He was released on a $1 million bond.
Loughlin, best known for her role in the ABC sitcom "Full House" and the recent Netflix sequel "Fuller House," has also been charged.
Huffman, Giannulli and Loughlin have yet to enter pleas.