Lori Loughlin is en route to Los Angeles to surrender to authorities after she was implicated in a massive college admissions cheating scandal.
The former Full House star is among 50 people, including fellow celebrity Felicity Huffman, who have been accused of paying bribes to get their children into America’s top colleges.
Loughlin, 54, is flying from Canada to Los Angeles and will reportedly turn herself in to federal authorities on Wednesday morning.
Both Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
They allegedly paid $500,000 to get their daughters Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella, 20, into the University of Southern California.
Lori Loughlin is en route to Los Angeles to surrender to authorities after she was implicated in a massive college admissions cheating scandal (Loughlin with daughters Olivia and Bella in February)
The former Full House star is among 50 people, including fellow celebrity Felicity Huffman (pictured with her daughters and husband William H Macy), who have been accused of paying bribes to get their children into America’s top colleges
The couple allegedly paid the half-million dollar sum to get their daughters into the school, which Giannulli graduated from in 1987, as fake rowing recruits. Neither daughter participated in crew.
Sources said that FBI agents arrived at Loughlin’s home on Tuesday morning, only to find out she was in Vancouver. They took Giannulli in custody.
Giannulli’s bond was set at $1million, forcing him to put the family’s primary residence up as collateral to guarantee the bond.
The designer also had to surrender his passport to the court, according to Variety.
His travel has been restricted to continental US. Loughlin’s attorney has requested that she be allowed to travel to Vancouver, where she films for the Hallmark Channel, after she is arraigned.
The judge said the request sounded reasonable but must be decided at a later date.
Huffman was likewise arrested by FBI agents on Tuesday, who took her into custody with their guns drawn, and had to surrender her passport to the court. Her bail was set to $250,000.
Loughlin frantically deleted all of her social media, including her Instagram and Twitter, as her name made headlines on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Olivia was immediately slammed on her social media accounts by those who accused her of taking away another student’s place at the college.
The scheme was uncovered by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Boston, who discovered the affluent parents involved had paid a total of $6million in bribes to get their children into elite schools including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and UCLA.
Both Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged. They allegedly paid $500,000 to get their daughters Olivia Jade, 19,(pictured) and Isabella, 20, into the University of Southern California
Olivia (pictured in February) was immediately slammed on her social media accounts by those who accused her of taking away another student’s place at the college
In many instances the children were unaware that their parents had paid these bribes, according to federal documents.
Most of those charged either paid to get higher SAT scores or faked an athletic resume that, with the participation of a bribed college coach, helped the children get accepted to a college as a team’s recruit.
Prosecutors said in court on Tuesday that some students also lied about their ethnicity on applications to take advantage of affirmative action.
Like Loughlin and her husband, Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud to help daughters Sofia, 18, and 16-year-old Georgia.
Her husband William H Macy, who was not charged, was seen in court on Tuesday to support his wife.
William Rick Singer, the founder of Key Worldwide Foundation, had been identified as the alleged mastermind behind the scandal.
Loughlin shut down both her Twitter and Instagram after news broke on Tuesday. Pictured is what appears when @loriloughlin is now searched on Instagram
Olivia Jade has cashed in on being student during her brief time at USC. She posted sponsored content for Amazon Prime on her Instagram account (above) in September that featured an image of her inside her USC dorm room
While Loughlin deleted all her social media accounts, her teen daughter’s Instagram became flooded with trolls talking about the scandal
The documents claim that since 2011, Singer has received $25million from parents which was used to payoff or bribe individuals who could ‘designate their children as recruited athletes, or other favored admissions categories’.
In his biography on the website for the Newport Beach-based Key Foundation, Singer is heralded for his ability to get children into the college of their choice.
Singer is also praised for ‘helping students discover their life passion, and guiding them along with their families through the complex college admissions maze’.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly emailed Singer in 2016 about their daughters’ college prospects, stating that they wanted to do the necessary work to see that the girls got into USC as opposed to ASU.
Emails obtained by investigators revealed that it was soon decided that bribes would be paid to have the girls recruited onto the crew team.
Macy, who was not charged, was seen in court on Tuesday to support his wife. Huffman was taken into custody on Tuesday morning
A short time after that, photos were taken of older daughter Isabella on a rowing machine.
Dr Donna Heinel, the senior associate athletic director at USC, presented Isabella as a potential athletic recruit a month later and she was approved for conditional admission.
It was then asked that a check be sent to Heinel for $50,000 from Giannulli, who a short time later asked if he could mention the story to the athletic director at USC when the two men were at Augusta, likely playing at the famed golf club.
Singer stated that this was not a good idea because when he discussed the possibility of Isabella’s admission with him the year prior, he thought the family ‘would be good for a million plus.’
Isabella received her admission letter the following March, which was followed by another note requesting a donation of $200,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation.
After the amount was wired to the organization, a note was returned that stated no good or services had been exchanged for the money – which according to the documents is false.
This same exact process was then repeated with younger daughter Olivia, it is claimed.
One mother, Jane Buckingham, submitted a handwriting sample from her son to make sure it would match when an individual took a test for her son (above), documents allege
Problems arose however when Olivia’s guidance counselor became curious as to how she managed to receive admission based on her involvement in crew since she did not row.
At the same time, Loughlin complained that her daughter was having difficulty filling out her other college applications, prompting Singer to ask an employee to take care of the task.
This was done so as not to draw attention to the fact that it was already confirmed Olivia had received conditional admission to USC.
Then, at some point, there was a very heated and public altercation between Giannulli and the counselor, which elicited an email from Heinel asking that this not happen in the future so as to avoid detection.
An example of a student whose face was photoshopped onto another that was included in court documents
Huffman paid a $15,000 ‘charitable contribution to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,’ according to the complaint.
She also ‘later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so’.
The charging documents state that Huffman had the site where her daughter took the SATs moved from her own high school to a test center in West Hollywood.
Her test was then administered by a proctor who had flown in from Tampa and told investigators that he ‘facilitated cheating, either by correcting the student’s answers after the test or by actively assisting the student during the exam’.
In this case, Huffman’s daughter scored a 1420 out of 1600 in December 2017, which was a 400 point improvement from her PSAT results just one year prior.
Soon after the proctor was paid $40,000 by Key Worldwide Foundation, the same organization that Huffman would later give a $15,000 donation to, according to the documents.
William Rick Singer (pictured at federal court on Tuesday), the founder of Key Worldwide Foundation, had been identified as the alleged mastermind behind the scandal
Huffman and her spouse gave a $15,000 donation to the group that later paid the man who proctored the SAT to her daughter (above)
A recorded phone conversation makes it evident that Huffman is aware that her daughter will be assisted in the test (above)
In one call from last year, Huffman revealed she planned to use the same system for her younger daughter (above) after it worked for her older daughter
The documents also include the transcript of a phone call between Huffman and the individual who facilitated the test in which she admits that her older daughter had assistance and expresses her desire for her younger daughter to get similar help.
In a follow-up call just this past December, Huffman and Macy – who is only referred to as ‘spouse’ in the complaint – spoke about their younger daughter wanting to get into Georgetown.
It was then decided that the young girl would take the exam twice, one on her own and once with help, to ensure she got the score necessary to get her into the prestigious DC university, it is claimed.
Then, at the last second, the couple decided not to have their daughter take the test with assistance.
Everything began to fall