|William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman|
|Mossimo Giannulli and Lori Loughlin|
Los Angeles, CA—I spent the afternoon in the courtroom of Federal Magistrate, Alexander MacKinnon. He arraigned and set bail for a handful of accused that had already been indicted on Conspiracy and Racketeering charges
The vast majority of the 31 people were only brought before the court for an Initial Appearance on Complaints. That’s the first step in the process. Those brought in on complaints have a bit of wiggle room to save themselves.
At this point there are some 50 people caught up in this very novel prosecution. Prosecutors allege that the ringleader, Rick Singer ran a consulting company that facilitated fixing ACT and SAT scores with the use of a ringer by the name of Mark Riddell who took these tests for the applicants.
Prosecutors also said that Singer proceeded to bribe various school officials and coaches to allow these well-connected, under-achievers a back door entrance to the very best colleges throughout the nation.
Prosecutors allege that Singer netted no less than $25 million over the last decade through this scheme.
Federal authorities arrested actress Felicity Huffman who according to the complaint, was caught in a wiretapped conversation trying to seal the deal with Singer. On the phone with them was Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy. So far Macy has not been charged. This has an odor of prosecutorial mischief, perhaps aimed at getting the couple to cooperate with authorities.
Another well-known actress, Lori Loughlin somehow evaded the FBI Dragnet but is expected to surrender with her lawyer very soon. Her Husband, Mossimo Giannulli was not so lucky and spent the better part of the day as a Federal prisoner.
Bail was set on various defendants between $1Million and $50,000.00. Huffman’s bail was set at $250,000.00. The defendants were all ordered to surrender their passports and stay within the confines of the Continental United States.
As for the parents, one family paid $6.5 Million to get their child into a prestigious school. Others paid very handsomely to sidestep those annoying admission requirements.
That begs me to suggest that this was the most egregious case of entrapment I’ve ever seen. Tell me what parent could not be convinced to help their precious children.
If there is a crime here, it involves the bribe takers and Rick Singer. Punishing wealthy parents for helping the children is fundamentally flawed. The US Attorney is far from finished here. Who knows what other hapless parents will be made to take this very public, Perp Walk?