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Nearly 50 Charged in College Admissions Bribery Scandal

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/us/college-cheating-scandal.html

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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged nearly 50 people, including Hollywood actresses and coaches at top universities around the country, for paying for or accepting bribes to admit student applicants.

At a news conference in Boston on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, called the case the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the Justice Department.

Both coaches and private admissions counselors received millions of dollars for helping to get students admitted as athletes to Yale, Stanford and University of Southern California, regardless of their academic or sports ability, officials said.

Along with Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, those charged included prominent business leaders, a fashion designer and a top lawyer, officials said.

The bribery ring centered used around a for-profit college admissions company based in Newport Beach, Calif., which powerful and wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and funnel money to coaches, prosecutors said.

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, the special agent in charge of the Boston office of the F.B.I., accused those involved in the scheme of fostering “a culture of corruption and greed” that was unfair to those students who were following the rules to get into prestigious universities.

“You can’t lie and cheat to get ahead because you will get caught,” he warned.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Shocking news.  I guess money does always talk.

 

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10 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/us/college-cheating-scandal.html

Shocking news.  I guess money does always talk.

 

just read it....Lori Loughlin (former Full House star) paid $500K to have both her kids listed as a crew team recruit, which allows for a lower standard to gain admittance to USC.  They had never been on a crew team prior.  Basically paid to build a fake profile.

Got to love Hollywood....."don't look at the man behind the curtain!"........

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5 minutes ago, TrojanDad said:

just read it....Lori Loughlin (former Full House star) paid $500K to have both her kids listed as a crew team recruit, which allows for a lower standard to gain admittance to USC.  They had never been on a crew team prior.  Basically paid to build a fake profile.

Got to love Hollywood....."don't look at the man behind the curtain!"........

What surprises me in this issue is that they were busted by the FBI and not the testing boards.  Felicity Huffman's daughter increased her test score from a 1,020 to a 1,420.  The girl in Florida, that ETS decided to call out and make insinuations about, had her score go from 900 to 1,230 ... which is less of an increase than Huffman's daughter. 

BTW, I don't think it's a Hollywood issue but more a money issue.  According to ABCNews' coverage of the incident ... emphasis is mine, "Hollywood actors, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and a slew of chief executives are among 50 people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam, according to court records unsealed in Boston Tuesday."

 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/hollywood-actors-ceos-charged-nationwide-college-admissions-cheating/story?id=61627873

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3 minutes ago, foxbat said:

What surprises me in this issue is that they were busted by the FBI and not the testing boards.  Felicity Huffman's daughter increased her test score from a 1,020 to a 1,420.  The girl in Florida, that ETS decided to call out and make insinuations about, had her score go from 900 to 1,230 ... which is less of an increase than Huffman's daughter. 

BTW, I don't think it's a Hollywood issue but more a money issue.  According to ABCNews' coverage of the incident ... emphasis is mine, "Hollywood actors, including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and a slew of chief executives are among 50 people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scam, according to court records unsealed in Boston Tuesday."

 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/hollywood-actors-ceos-charged-nationwide-college-admissions-cheating/story?id=61627873

Fair statement Fox....I shouldn't label Hollywood based on a couple of actors.  Just a bias on my part with past attacks, when "some of Hollywood" have their own messes to clean up.  But you are correct...seems more like a money issue.  Just glad is was identified.  Also good statement about FBI vs. college boards nailing this.  Kind of like the FBI busting college bball coaches for recruiting issues, and NCAA seeming clueless.

ESPN's take on this issue....coaches and sports administrators bribed.....

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/26238811/feds-allege-coaches-bribed-school-admission

 

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Here Are All The Incredible Details From The College Admissions Bribery Scandal: https://deadspin.com/here-are-all-the-incredible-details-from-the-college-ad-1833236579#_ga=2.79272796.913238935.1552318544-2565330411.1523556988

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Surely by now you have read about the hilarious FBI bust on and subsequent dismantling of The Edge College & Career Network (aka The Key), and its nefarious efforts to get the underachieving sons and daughters of the rich into colleges they either didn’t deserve to attend on merits or couldn’t bribe their way into the old-fashioned way. The multi-million dollar college entrance exam cheating scandal has reportedly entangled 44 people, including several college coaches and a few Hollywood types, though celebrity involvement is far less interesting or funny than the actual mechanics of how this particular crop of gross rich people tried to sneak their unwitting children into college.

The FBI’s case describes a multi-pronged scheme that the parents and one of the founders of The Key (who is described as a cooperating witness, or CW-1 in the filings) participated in. One prong of the scam required the parents to earn their kids extra time to take the ACT or SAT—often by having them diagnosed with a phony learning disability—so that the test would be administered at a special location where CW-1 could bribe the proctor into altering the scores. Parents also, at CW-1's direction, went about creating fake athletic profiles for their children, which would then allow college coaches and administrators who were in on the scheme to get their kids into school as athletic recruits.

The court filings related to the case contain hundreds of pages describing various instances of this scam being carried out, including emails and transcripts from recorded phone calls. Among them are some truly wild details of the lengths CW-1 and his clients went to in order to get some rich kids into college.

....

 

Some truly incredible stuff in this documents.

 

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20 hours ago, TrojanDad said:

Fair statement Fox....I shouldn't label Hollywood based on a couple of actors.  Just a bias on my part with past attacks, when "some of Hollywood" have their own messes to clean up.  But you are correct...seems more like a money issue.  Just glad is was identified.  Also good statement about FBI vs. college boards nailing this.  Kind of like the FBI busting college bball coaches for recruiting issues, and NCAA seeming clueless.

ESPN's take on this issue....coaches and sports administrators bribed.....

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/26238811/feds-allege-coaches-bribed-school-admission

 

Part of my concern with ETS not catching it is that ETS made a big deal going after the girl in Florida claiming that had an increase in SAT score from the first time to second time that she took it, yet they seemed to have missed a 400-point jump from 1,020 to 1,420, which is 94-97% percentile, from 39-49% percentile.  ETS didn't have a problem calling out the student, yet they somehow "missed" the 400-point jump?

Here's the recent list of those who have been named:

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/complete-list-charged-college-admissions-211212373.html

There are folks on here that reads like a who's who of "have everything" including William McGlashan, who is the founder and managing partner at private equity company TPG Growth.  The list includes so many people who had all of the resources necessary to already provide their kids with more opportunities that any regular family could ever hope to have access to, yet it wasn't enough. 

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12 minutes ago, foxbat said:

There are folks on here that reads like a who's who of "have everything" including William McGlashan, who is the founder and managing partner at private equity company TPG Growth.  The list includes so many people who had all of the resources necessary to already provide their kids with more opportunities that any regular family could ever hope to have access to, yet it wasn't enough. 

Providing opportunities, yes.  Children who actually chose to take advantage of those opportunities, sounds like mostly no.    Better to party and become some sort of internet "influencer/tastemaker" and let your parents cheat you into a prestigious institution.

 

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Time to Put the College Admissions System on a Rocket and Shoot It Into the Sun: http://reason.com/blog/2019/03/13/college-bribery-scandal-defund-loughlin

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"I don't know how much of school I'm gonna attend," Olivia Jade, a Youtube star and daughter of Full House actress Lori Loughlin, told her fans just before she moved to the University of Southern California (USC) to begin freshman year. "But I'm gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don't really care about school, as you guys all know."

With that attitude, one might have hoped Jade could not earn admission to USC. But her parents paid half a million dollars to a man named William Singer, and Singer bribed all the necessary officials so that Jade's dream of going to college for the partying could come true.

Now Loughlin is one of 50 people facing federal fraud charges for participating in Singer's schemes to trick various colleges and universities into admitting wealthy but underqualified applicants. The perpetrators—which include another actress, Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman—gave Singer millions of dollars to guarantee their kids would be admitted to first-choice schools like Yale, Stanford, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Singer's scheme was stunningly deceitful. His two main strategies were bribing test-taking officials so that they would give his clients more time to take the SAT or ACT—or even supply the correct answers directly—and bribing athletic officials to falsely claim the client was a high-value recruit for a certain sport. This often involved sending fake photos of the kids engaged in athletic activities—pole-vaulting, swimming, etc.—for sports they didn't play. Jade, for instance, gained admission after submitting a photo implying she was a talented coxswain on the crew team. She was not. But a $50,000 payment to a USC senior athletic director was all it took to facilitate the lie.

Indeed, athletic administrative bloat appears to be a significant contributing factor to the success of this scam. Many of the bribe-takers were coaches, and it's fairly worrying they have so much sway over the admissions process. One downside of forcing universities to hire a bunch of administrators—something federal guidance has encouraged for decades—is that there are more potential targets for Singer's schemes.

Unfortunately, colleges and universities routinely prioritize factors other than academic ability when making admissions decisions. Athletic considerations matter far too much, as do legacy connections. And of course, donating a new wing to the university's hospital or library is a good way to make sure your kid gets a second look. Singer took things much further, but it's a difference of degrees. As Frank Bruni wrote in The New York Times, "It may be legal to pledge $2.5 million to Harvard just as your son is applying—which is what Jared Kushner's father did for him—and illegal to bribe a coach to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars,but how much of a difference is there, really? Both elevate money over accomplishment. Both are ways of cutting in line."

The best remedy to this problem might be to admit that college is, to some degree, a scam. Note that these parents were evidently unconcerned that their kids—who were often coached to fake learning disabilities so they could get more time on the ACT and SAT—might struggle with their course loads. It's because college is a joke, and it's easy enough for an academically disinclined grifter—an Olivia Jade, if you will—to get by studying nonsense subjects. They're paying for the experience and the diploma, not the actual education.

This is a point that Bryan Caplan raises in his excellent book, The Case Against Education. Caplan argues that most of the value of a college education is signaling rather than skills. Students don't learn very much that will be useful to them in the job world, and even if they do, they quickly forget it. But a diploma signals to employers that the diploma-holder is competent in some abstract way—they jumped through a bunch of impressive-looking hoops, and are thus more worthy of a job than people who didn't. The implication of Caplan's research is that public funding of higher education is therefore a waste: It doesn't actually benefit society to subsidize a signaling mechanism if there's little relevant skill-gaining along the way. It just punishes everybody who, for whatever reason, doesn't have access to the right hoops.

If we are going to continue to publicly fund higher education, taxpayers might rightly ask whether institutions that receive federal dollars should be permitted to privilege the wealthy, the donor class, the athletes (both faux and actual), and certain racial groups (resulting in abject discrimination against Asians) over applicants who might actually be interested in checking a book out of the library. But if higher education is really just about celebrity scions pretending to play water polo in order to gain admittance to an exclusive partying club, maybe it's long past time to hit the defund button.

 

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I doubt if the rich and famous indicted/arrested in this case will actually serve real jail time, but I found this amusing:

 

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25 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Any word on David Hogg's involvement? We could tie up two threads.

Or Trump's kids...3 threads.

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13 minutes ago, Irishman said:

Or Trump's kids...3 threads.

I will admit to growing weary of some of these threads and don't even look at them.

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17 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

I will admit to growing weary of some of these threads and don't even look at them.

I’m with you on that one.

 I’m just here for MMM 

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And it gets even more outrageous......

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lori-loughlins-daughter-was-in-usc-officials-yacht-when-mother-was-charged

 

Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was spending spring break on a University of Southern California official's yacht when her mother was accused Tuesday of involvement in a college admissions scheme, reports said.

Giannulli, 19, was on Rick Caruso's luxury yacht Invictus in the Bahamas, a report said. Caruso is chairman of USC's Board of Trustees.

"Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home."

— Rick Caruso, chairman of USC's Board of Trustees

Ya think???

 

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This kind of thing illustrates a point I have tried to make for some time about "privilege". There are privileges every person in our country has available to them; but the people caught up in something like this, are on a different level entirely when it comes to privilege. Sure there are even privileges that are raced based, but again, the privilege these people have lived with are at the root of even racial privilege.

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Just now, DanteEstonia said:

Why?

two words...David Coleman

I would add if scores on those tests can be rigged so easily, it invalidates the tests themselves.

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1 hour ago, swordfish said:

And it gets even more outrageous......

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lori-loughlins-daughter-was-in-usc-officials-yacht-when-mother-was-charged

 

Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was spending spring break on a University of Southern California official's yacht when her mother was accused Tuesday of involvement in a college admissions scheme, reports said.

Giannulli, 19, was on Rick Caruso's luxury yacht Invictus in the Bahamas, a report said. Caruso is chairman of USC's Board of Trustees.

"Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home."

— Rick Caruso, chairman of USC's Board of Trustees

Ya think???

 

Guess all the top rowers were invited on the Trustee's yacht?  Then again, given the money that the Loughlins gave, they probably should have Spring Break access to the yacht for life.

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Just now, Irishman said:

two words...David Coleman

I would add if scores on those tests can be rigged so easily, it invalidates the tests themselves.

I get that you have some animosity against Common Core, but that doesn’t mean we need to discard the concept of the admissions exam.

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1 minute ago, DanteEstonia said:

I get that you have some animosity against Common Core, but that doesn’t mean we need to discard the concept of the admissions exam.

Never said we did need to discard the concept; I just mentioned those two exams specifically. They have been compromised.

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Just now, Irishman said:

Never said we did need to discard the concept; I just mentioned those two exams specifically. They have been compromised.

Fair enough. Maybe use the ASVAB instead?

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2 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

Fair enough. Maybe use the ASVAB instead?

Possibly. It is used in Indiana as an alternative for kids who cannot pass ISTEP.

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