Actress Lori Loughlin taken into custody in "Operation Varsity Blues" college admissions scam
ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Actres Lori Loughlin was taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday in Los Angeles after she, fellow actress Felicity Huffman and 48 others were charged in a $25 million college admissions scam that will have repercussions from Hollywood to the boardrooms of major companies.
Loughlin, 54, is expected to appear in federal court in Los Angeles later Wednesday to face fraud charges stemming from the nationwide investigation. She flew to Los Angeles overnight from Canada, where she was filming a Hallmark movie, sources told ABC News.
A former cast member on the ABC sitcom Full House, Loughlin and Oscar-nominated actress Huffman, 56, are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.
The feds dubbed the investigation “Operation Varsity Blues” and said it was triggered by an unrelated investigation by FBI agents in Boston.
Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and appeared in Los Angeles federal court.
Loughlin and 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,” according to the indictment.
More than 300 FBI agents fanned out across the country on Tuesday morning with arrest warrants for 46 people.
Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, announced the stunning indictment Tuesday and said the parents charged in the scam represent “a catalog of wealth and privilege.”
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