Federal prosecutors release rowing photos Lori Loughlin allegedly used to get daughters into USC

In light of current events, actor Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were probably hoping that federal prosecutors would forget about the upcoming criminal trial against them for allegedly cheating to give their progeny front-of-the-line passes to the prestigious University of Southern California. According to the FBI, Loughlin and Giannulli worked with confessed college admissions fraudster Rick Singer to make it appear as though the couple's daughters were excellent crew athletes, and therefore shoe-ins to the university. But last week it became clear that the coronavirus pandemic wasn't keeping prosecutors from pursuing the case when they released photos of the daughters on rowing equipment.

From People:

According to prosecutors in the court documents, Giannulli, 56, emailed college admissions scam ring leader, Rick Singer, his older daughter’s rowing photo on Sept. 7, 2016. Prosecutors state that Giannulli sent the image after Singer told the fashion mogul, “It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too.” In response, according to prosecutors Giannulli said: “Fantastic. Will get all.”

After Isabella was accepted, Giannulli sent an email to his financial advisor, according to prosecutors, writing, “Good news my [older] daughter is in [U]SC bad [news] is I had to work the system.”

The following year on July 28, 2017, Olivia’s rowing photos were sent to Singer and prosecutors state in the court documents that Loughlin, 55, was cc’d on the email.

Neither girl participated in crew.  Read the rest

How the "Varsity Blues" admissions scam punished deserving, hard working kids so that mediocre kids of the super-rich could prosper

Propublica's latest longread is ostensibly a profile of two kids who attended Orange County's Sage Hill School, where tuition runs $40,000/year and where an estimated 25% of students get into elite colleges thanks to their parents shelling out for "independent counsellors" who run the gamut from people who help with admissions essays and strategic donations to the schools of their choice all the way up to William "Rick" Singer, who pleaded guilty to collecting millions to grease the path for mediocre rich kids to attend elite colleges by bribing coaches. Read the rest

NYT calls for an end to legacy college admissions

In the wake of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, a new debate opened up, about the mundane, everyday ways that wealthy people buy their way into elite institutions: from hiring, poorer, smarter kids to write their kids' essays, to surrendering custody of your kids in order to misappropriate low-income tuition grants, to simply "donating" shit-tons of money to the school. Read the rest

Affluent parents surrender custody of their kids to "scam" their way into needs-based college scholarships

Propublica Illinois has identified "dozens of suburban Chicago families" who surrendered custody of their children during the kids' junior and senior years of high-school, turning them over to aunts, grandparents, friends, and cousins, so that the kids claim to be independent and qualify for needs-based scholarships, crowding out the poor kids the scholarship was designed for. Read the rest