Lori Loughlin-College-Cheating Scam
Actress Lori Loughlin visits the Build Series to discuss the show 'Fuller House' at Build Studio on August 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Celebrity College Scam Involved Photoshopping Teens To Make Them Look Athletic

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are the big names involved in this groundbreaking plot. 

UPDATE: 3/12 12:44 PM ET 

Actress Lori Loughlin was taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday (March 13) in Los Angeles after she was charged in a million-dollar college admissions scam. Good Morning America reports Loughlin is expected to appear in federal court in Los Angeles for fraud charges.


Details have been released in the college cheating scheme that involves a slew of very privileged actress, business owners and college coaches. Some of the craziest and questionable details of the case include photoshopping the bodies of students to make them look more athletic and "donating" Facebook shares to pay the ringleaders.

A total of 50 individuals have been named, amongst them actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in a college entrance exam plot. It was reported Tuesday (March 12) by ABC 7 Chicago that the suspects involved in the crime allegedly paid up to $6 million to a college counseling company called the Key, a no-profit organization founded by William Singer, also known as Rick Singer.

Singer and his employees would facilitate the scam with the help of athletic coaches at the school as well as college entrance exam administrators, who have also been arrested in the process. Singer ran his operations in California, working with students to help them get into their dream school.

In Loughlin's case, she along with her husband, Mossimo Giannulli "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC," as was reported in the charging documents obtained by ABC 7 Chicago.

Documents also proved how Photoshop was used to enhance the features of teens to make them look more athletic. One parent named Sloane emailed photos of their son pretending to play water polo. Vulture notes the parent “e-mailed CW-1 (Cooperating Witness 1) a photograph of his son purporting to play water polo, with his right arm and upper torso exposed above the water line. In the e-mail, Sloane asked, ‘Does this work??’ CW-1 responded: ‘Yes but a little high out of the water-no one gets that high.’”

While Loughlin and company paid off athletic coaches Huffman and her husband William H. Macy, of Showtime's Shameless, "made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000...to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter. Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so."

Authorities claim that there is evidence of both parties partaking in this scam, with emails from Loughlin and a witness as well as phone calls from Huffman. Presently, Huffman has been arrested and she among the others face charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

According to the New York Times, here are those involved in the scandal:

The Power Players

William Singer, also known as Rick Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network, and chief executive of the Key Worldwide Foundation

Steven Masera, an accountant and financial officer for the two entities

Mikaela Sanford, an employee who held several roles and is accused of taking classes for high school students

The Parents

Gamal Abdelaziz, a senior executive of a resort and casino operator

Gregory and Marcia Abbott. Gregory is the founder and chairman of a packaging company for the food and beverage industry, and the former head of a private-label clothing manufacturer

Diane Blake, an executive at a retail merchandising firm, and Todd Blake, entrepreneur and investor

Jane Buckingham, chief executive of a boutique marketing company

Gordon Caplan, a lawyer and a co-chairman of the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher

I-Hsin “Joey” Chen, a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry

Amy and Gregory Colburn. Gregory is a physician.

Robert Flaxman, chief executive of a Los Angeles-based real estate development firm

Mossimo Giannulli, fashion designer, and Lori Loughlin, actress

Elizabeth and Manuel Henriquez. Manuel is the founder, chairman and chief executive of a specialty finance company.

Douglas Hodge, former chief executive of Pimco, one of the world’s biggest bond fund managers

Felicity Huffman, actress

Agustin Huneeus, owner of vineyards in Napa, Calif.

Bruce and Davina Isackson. Bruce is the president of a real estate development firm.

Michelle Janavs, a former executive of a food manufacturer

Elisabeth Kimmel, owner of a media company

Marjorie Klapper, co-owner of a jewelry business

Toby MacFarlane, a former senior executive at a title insurance company

William E. McGlashan Jr., a senior executive at TPG, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms

Marci Palatella, chief executive of a liquor distributor

Peter Jan “P.J.” Sartorio, a packaged-food entrepreneur

Stephen Semprevivo, an executive at an outsourcing company

David Sidoo, a businessman in Vancouver, British Columbia

Devin Sloane, founder and chief executive of a drinking water and wastewater systems business

John Wilson, founder and chief executive of a private-equity and real estate development firm

Homayoun Zadeh, an associate professor of dentistry at U.S.C.

Robert Zangrillo, founder and chief executive of a Miami-based venture capital and real estate firm

The Athletic Coaches

Michael Center, head coach of men’s tennis at University of Texas at Austin

Gordon Ernst, former head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at Georgetown

William Ferguson, women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest

Donna Heinel, senior associate athletic director at U.S.C.

Laura Janke, former assistant coach of women’s soccer at U.S.C.

Ali Khosroshahin, former head coach of women’s soccer at U.S.C.

Rudolph Meredith, former head coach of women’s soccer at Yale

Jorge Salcedo, former head coach of men’s soccer at University of California, Los Angeles

John Vandemoer, former sailing coach at Stanford

Jovan Vavic, former water polo coach at U.S.C.

Teachers, test administrators and private instructors

Igor Dvorskiy, test administrator for the College Board and A.C.T., accused of accepting bribes to facilitate the cheating scheme at the West Hollywood Test Center

Niki Williams, assistant teacher at a public high school in Houston and a test administrator for the College Board and A.C.T. who is accused of accepting bribes

Mark Riddell, a test proctor accused of tampering with students’ test papers to improve scores, and of secretly taking exams in place of students

Martin Fox, president of a private tennis academy and camp in Houston, accused of acting as a middleman for bribe payments

Macy, who wasn't charged with any crimes, made his way to court today to support his wife on Tuesday.

From the Web

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Disturbing Footage From Aftermath Of Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder Released

Travis McMichael , the man who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery can be seen drenched in blood as he speaks with authorities in new body camera video obtained by the Glynn County police.

The footage, first reported by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution on Monday (Dec. 14), shows Travis McMichael recounting the deadly incident with authorities. His hands and forearms are covered in Arbery’s blood.

One police officer at the scene attempts to calm Travis McMichael before gently asking him if there’s anyone that he wants them to call on his behalf. She goes on to explain that he has to go to the police station as a formality, and asks if he sustained any injuries.

Travis McMichael paces around with his hands in his pockets, at times wiping blood of his arms and face, while blaming Arbery for his own murder. Arbery’s body lay on the ground and he was still breathing at one point in the video, according to USA Today.

While authorities investigate the shooting, Travis McMichael appears agitated and tells an officer, “I want it [the investigation] done right, because this doesn’t look good. I mean, I just shot a man. Last thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life.”

Arbery, 25, was out for a jog before being chased in a pick-up truck, cornered and gunned down by Travis McMichael with his father, Greg McMichael, a retired investigator for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit D.A.’s office, by his side. Despite having no proof, father and son claim that they thought Arbery had been burglarizing the neighborhood.

Greg McMichael reportedly backed up his son’s account to police stating that his son “had no choice” but to kill Arbery. At least one  officer at the crime scene was familiar with Greg McMichael from his years in law enforcement and recent retirement.

In an additional recording, Greg McMichael says that he would have “shot him myself” and continues accusing Arbery of being the aggressor. “The guy turns and comes at him [Travis], and they start wrestling and Travis shoots him right in the damn chest,” he tells police. “The guy was trying to take the shotgun away from him [Travis].”

A third man, neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan filmed the incident on his cell phone and was later arrested for murder along with the McMichaels. Bryan has since questioned if they should have been following Arbery in the first place.

All three men remain jailed as they await trial on murder charges.

Click here to watch the body cam footage, but please be warned that the video is explicit.

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Bowie State And More HBCUs Receive Record-Breaking Donations From Billionaire

MacKenzie Scott is back at it! The billionaire venture philanthropist, novelist, and ex-wife of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, has donated tens of millions of dollars to several HBCUs in the last few days.

The week's isn't over yet, but so far, Scott has donated well over $100 million to historically Black colleges including Tougaloo College, which received $6 million on Wednesday (Dec. 16).

A day earlier, Scott gave a record $40 million each to Morgan State and Norfolk University, $25 million to Alcorn State University and Bowie State, $20 million to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore , and $15 million to Elizabeth City University.

Morgan State's $40 million gift is the largest single-party donation in the HBCU’s history, and the second-largest donation to a public Maryland university. 

“This monumental gift will change lives and shape futures,” Morgan State President David Wilson said in a statement. “I thank Ms. Scott for her due diligence and acknowledgement of the substantive value Morgan offers to so many throughout this nation and around the world, and entrusting that we will ensure the enduring impact of her generosity is truly transformational for many years to come.”

A majority of the donated funds will go to Morgan State’s newly established endowment fund. The remainder of the money will be used to continue the university’s efforts “essential to student success,” as well as advancing research and enhancing investments in other “mission-focused priorities and initiatives.”

Scott also donated millions to Howard University, Clark Atlanta and Delaware State University.

Her latest HBCU donation spree is a small portion of the $4 billion that she has given away over the last four months. The multi-billion dollar charitable windfall has been dispersed to 384 organizations and educational institutions in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.

And she’s still not done.

“Though I’m far from completing my pledge, this year of giving began with exposure to leaders from historically marginalized groups fighting inequities, and ended with exposure to thousands of organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic,” Scott wrote in a post on Medium.com. “Witnessing the determination, creativity, and compassion of people in a crisis has been inspiring.”

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Father And Son Who Brutally Murdered Ahmaud Arbery Denied Bail

Travis and Gregory McMichael, the father-son duo charged for the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, were denied bail and must remain behind bars, a judge ruled on Friday (Nov. 13). Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, urged the judge to keep Travis, 34, and Gregory, 64, in custody.

“These men are proud of what they've done,” she said according to NBC News. “In their selfish minds, they think they're good guys.”

William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbor to the McMichales', was denied bail over the summer.

Bryan recorded Arbery’s murder. All three men have been indicted on suspicion of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Investigators found racist text messages and social media posts from Travis McMichael,  Cobb County prosecutors noted in court on Thursday. Bryan also told authorities that he heard Travis use the n-word after fatally shooting Arbery.

Arbery, 25, was out for a jog in late February when the men, approached, cornered, and shot him to death. The incident was recorded on Bryan’s cell phone.

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