Felicity Huffman surrenders passport following court appearance in alleged college bribery scheme

Felicity Huffman surrenders passport following court appearance in alleged college bribery scheme

She was among dozens swept up in what prosecutors called the largest college admissions fraud scheme they'd ever seen.

Big names such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin headlined the list of about 50 people charged in documents released on Tuesday that describe a scheme to cheat the admissions process at eight sought-after schools.

Prosecutors have so far named 33 parents, 13 coaches, and associates of Singer's business. Some parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, as much as $US6.5 million ($9.2 million), to guarantee their children's admission, officials said.

"The department is looking closely at this issue and working to determine if any of our regulations have been violated."

Twelve hours later, the Desperate Housewives alum was released from custody after she posted $250,000 bail, according to the Associated Press.

Loughlin, who is known for portraying Aunt Becky on "Full House" and for starring in numerous Hallmark Channel movies, will appear in court again in Boston on March 29.

He was released on $US500,000 bail by a federal magistrate who overruled a federal prosecutor's objection to Mr Hodge keeping his passport.

Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, facing a charge of mail fraud in connection with the widespread college admissions bribery scheme.

They ordered her to come out and surrender.


At the center of the scheme was admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network of Newport Beach, California, authorities said.

Prosecutors called it the largest such scandal in USA history.

"These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege", U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a news conference in Boston, where the indictments in the scandal were handed up.

Several defendants, including Huffman, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Some of the children were reportedly aware of the scheme but none have been charged.

Among the alleged offences: six-figure bribes paid to college athletic coaches to vouch for applicants who may not have even competed in those sports, the use of stand-ins to take the all-important SAT and ACT entrance exams, and payments directed to test administrators to correct answers before submission. Loughlin's husband Mossimo Giannulli was arrested Tuesday morning without incident.

Their 19-year-old daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is a celebrity in her own right.

'I was essentially buying or bribing the coaches for a spot, ' Singer said as he pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the United States attorney's office in Boston said his company, Edge College & Career Network, has made $US25 million since embarking on the fraud in 2011, offering what he promised was a "guarantee" of admission.

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