Over 50 charged in large college admissions scam

(NBC News) - Federal agents said they have uncovered a scheme using lies and bribes to get students into elite colleges and universities.

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The California businessman at the center of the con, Rick Singer, pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple charges including racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.

Prosecutors described it as the largest admission scam ever uncovered.

"We're talking about deception and fraud, fake test scores, fake athletic credentials, fake photographs, bribed college officials," said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

Investigators said Rick Singer charged parents between $15,000 $75,000 for someone else to take college entrance exams or correct test answers for their sons or daughters.

Court documents show other parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to "designate their children as recruited athletes, or other favored admissions categories," even if they didn't play sports.

Agents said Singer used some of the $25 million in fees to bribe college officials, coaches, and test administrators.

Thirty-three parents face charges, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

"These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege," Lelling said.

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