An Update Regarding the College Cheating Scandal


So much potential for a reality TV series

Last spring, we became aware of an FBI investigation regarding around 40 upper-class individuals taking illegal measures to get their children into top schools. The biggest names in the scandal include actresses Lori Loughlin (a.k.a Aunt Becky from Full House) and Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Gianuli who is in charge of the clothing at Target “allegedly” paid $500,000 to William Singer so that their two daughters, beauty guru Olivia and her older sister Bella could pretend to be University of Southern California crew team recruits to guarantee admission into the school. Huffman is guilty of a similar crime, paying $15,000 to arrange for cheating on her daughter’s SAT test. Although this scandal, known as “Varsity Blues” includes many other business executives, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, this article will focus specifically on Loughlin and Huffman, the big names in this scandal, to provide some clarity on where they are now and how this scandal is progressing.

Felicity Huffman
Compared to others involved in the scandal, Huffman’s $15,000 contribution to Key Worldwide Foundation, an organization led by Singer whose ONLY purpose is to illegally get unqualified rich kids into school is one of the smallest contributions of them all. This contribution allowed her daughter to improve drastically by 400 points on her SAT within the span of one year, all without studying! After details of the case came to surface, Huffman decided it would be best to plead guilty on May 13, 2019, and was sentenced to a ~whopping~ 14 days in prison on September 13. Her husband dropped off at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin California in his 2019 Mercedes G-wagon on October 15 where she will serve only 13/14 days due to good behavior? After she is released next week, she will pay a $30,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service.

It should be noted that Martha Stewart, businesswoman, chef, television personality, former model, and convicted felon, has spoken out about the scandal, saying that Huffman “looked pretty schlumpy” (Stewart 2019) in her prison outfit, giving her the advice that she should “style her outfit a little bit more” (Stewart 2019). I suppose not every wealthy inmate can look as good in a prison jumpsuit as Martha did.

Lori Loughlin
Loughlin and Gianuli also paid Singer for assistance getting their daughters into USC, but have decided to take a different and more complicated route with the trial. They have rejected a plea deal and have now been given more charges, including money laundering, conspiracy, and bribery, which could lead to a 40-year prison sentence if convicted. The trial is expected to take place in early 2020, where the couple will try and convince everyone that they had absolutely no idea that their generous $500,000 donation to Singer was to be used as a bribe!

The couple’s daughter and beauty guru, Olivia Jade Gianuli was known for her YouTube channel and collaborations with Sephora but has now been severely “canceled” by her followers since the scandal. Both she and her sister have withdrawn from USC and kept quiet.

We may not be sure how this scandal and trial will progress. It seems likely that Lori Loughlin will have some punishment, but will not be held as accountable as she should be. This FBI case only focuses on 40 individuals, yet many more find ways to pay their children into colleges where they do not belong. This is incredibly unfair to students who deserve to attend but are denied as their spots are taken by wealthy and spoiled students who care more about looking impressive than working hard. In the future, it would be very amusing to see Lori Loughlin and her guilty peers take a step back from their luxurious lives and be humbled in a prison setting.