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US actress hit with more charges in college admissions scam

Wednesday - April 10, 2019 3:42 am , Category : EDUCATION
Washington, April 10 (IANS) Actress Lori Loughlin and 15 other wealthy parents now face an additional charge of money laundering as part of the growing college admissions scandal.
The parents, who were charged last month with conspiracy to commit fraud, were charged on Tuesday in a superseding indictment with conspiring to launder bribes and other payments through a charity run by Rick Singer, the mastermind of the scam, as well as by transferring money into the United States to promote the fraud, prosecutors said.
Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to Singer's fake charity to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though the daughters did not participate in the sport.
The couple appeared last week in federal court in Boston, but they have not publicly indicated how they plan to plea, CNN reported.
In addition, Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane and Todd Blake, I-Hsin "Joey" Chen, Elizabeth and Manuel Henriquez, Douglas Hodge, Michelle Janavs, Elisabeth Kimmel, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo were also charged in the superseding indictment.
Thirty-three wealthy parents were among 50 people arrested last month in a sprawling investigation that officials dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues."
Prosecutors said the parents used their wealth to cheat on standardized tests for their children and bribe college administrators and coaches who had say over who was admitted.
The added charges come just a day after 13 other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, and one coach agreed to plead guilty in the case.
Huffman, the former star of "Desperate Housewives," pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to the charity known as Key Worldwide Foundation to facilitate cheating for her daughter on the SATs, the complaint said.
In a statement, she expressed "deep regret and shame over what I have done."
She has a plea hearing set for May 24 in federal court in Boston, prosecutors said on Twitter.

--IANS vc