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Federal college admissions bribery charges announced

News outlets across Michigan and the nation buzzed yesterday with news of a college admissions scandal that has ensnared actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The two are among the 50 individuals charged with participation in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed university coaches and insiders to get their children into prestigious schools.

According to federal prosecutors, those currently under arrest face racketeering conspiracy charges, though additional charges and defendants might be added later.

"These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege," a federal prosecutor said when announcing the allegations in the $25 million bribery case that spans the nation. Nine college coaches and 33 parents are among those charged.

No Michigan schools are included in the indictments, officials said. However, elite schools such as Yale, USC, the University of Texas, UCLA, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Stanford and others have been tarnished by the allegations.

Prosecutors allege that over eight years, a variety of wealthy parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe coaches and college insiders to use several methods to get their kids into the schools. The methods included labeling the aspiring students as college athletes, altering exam scores and having others take classes for the children to boost their grades and chances of admission.

According to news sources, those facing federal racketeering charges can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a white collar crime, contact an Ann Arbor attorney experienced in federal and state criminal defense.

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