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Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin among 50 charged in college entrance cheating scandal

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

A large-scale college entry scam is afoot, according to Boston authorities and the FBI, and it includes two of the unlikeliest alleged co-conspirators: Aunt Becky and Lynette Scavo.

Full House actress Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, primarily known for her starring role in Desperate Housewives, are among at least 50 people charged in a college entrance-exam cheating scheme, according to recently unsealed court documents. Per ABC News, the indictment illustrates an alleged scheme that focused on getting students admitted to elite universities by recruiting them for athletic teams (regardless of their athletic abilities and/or experience) and helping potential students cheat on their college exams. Loughlin and Huffman have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

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According to documents related to the investigation (FBI code name: “Varsity Blues”), Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy,“made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 ... to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.” They also allege that she initially pursued the same route for her younger daughter, but had a change of heart.

The same documents say that Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo 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.”

Federal agents also recorded phone calls involving the celebrities and a cooperating witness, according to the complaint, and obtained incriminating emails from Loughlin. Neither camp has released a statement at this time, and at the moment there’s no clear indication that the schools themselves were involved in any potentially illegal activities. The list of charged individuals also includes college coaches and “a slew of chief executive officers,” per ABC News.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.: Huffman is in federal custody, according to NBC News reporter Andrew Blankstein; Loughlin was not home when officials came by, and there is a warrant out for her arrest.

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