Operation Varsity Blues… have mercy.
In a bizarre turn of events, Academy Awards nominee Felicity Huffman and Full House actress Lori Loughlin have been charged in an alleged college admissions fraud case.
Reported by CNN, the actresses are two of nearly 50 individuals charged in the scam, which includes 33 parents, nine college coaches, two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor and one college administrator. This nationwide fraud involves parents allegedly paying a college prep organization to take standardized tests on behalf of their children or correcting answers, and bribing college coaches to help admit students as recruited athletes. The FBI’s investigation into the case was code-named Operation Varsity Blues.
The scheme was allegedly spearheaded by William “Rick” Singer, who pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. Singer allegedly ran a college counseling service and a fake charity called the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF): between 2011-2018, wealthy parents paid Singer and his organizations roughly $25 million to guarantee their children’s admissions into schools including Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and more.
Loughlin (left) in Fuller House, Huffman (right) in Desperate Housewives.
In the full indictment, which can be read here, Huffman and her spouse, actor William H. Macy, made a purported $15,000 charitable contribution to KWF. This payment was allegedly made to ensure that a rigged third-party would proctor her daughter’s SAT exam, but when issues arose, Huffman allegedly wrote in an e-mail: “Ruh Ro! Looks like [her daughter’s high school] wants to provide own proctor.” Ultimately, Huffman’s daughter received a 1420 on her SAT – approximately 400 points higher than her non-rigged PSAT. Huffman initially pursued repeating the scheme for her younger daughter, but ultimately did not go through with it.
Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, both agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits for the University of Southern California’s crew team – despite the fact that neither participated in crew before. According to NBC News, Loughlin allegedly told a cooperating witness she would arrange for one of her daughters to be photographed on a rowing machine to bolster these false claims.
Per Rolling Stone, each actress could face up to five years in prison if convicted. Huffman was reportedly arrested this morning, and though Loughlin wasn’t home when the authorities arrived, she was purportedly on a flight returning to LA, and is expected to surrender to the authorities.
Huffman is best known for her role as Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives as well as her Oscar-nominated performance in Transamerica. Loughlin is best known for her role as Aunt Becky in Full House and the more recent sequel series Fuller House.
Naturally, the internet has been busy conjuring up reactions to this news, specifically for these two actresses, though one of the more ironic jokes surrounding this morning’s events comes in the form of a 2016 tweet from Huffman herself, asking followers for their best back-to-school season “hacks.”
What are your best “hacks” for the back-to-school season?
— Felicity Huffman (@FelicityHuffman) August 25, 2016
The fourth and most recent season of Fuller House was renewed on January 29 2018, and premiered on December 14, 2018. A fifth and final season is set to premiere in late 2019.
You can also check out our review of the Desperate Housewives video game, which we called “Good” saying “The writing is smart, the characters are all present and accompanied by portraits, and the game doesn’t put them through the wringer to learn the entire story.”
Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN, and he just hopes the twins are okay. Follow him on Twitter.