Joseph Prezioso / AFP / Getty Images
Another round of federal criminal charges has hit the record deal in Varsity Blues University's approval of bribery scandals that broke earlier this year.
Eleven defendants, including actress Lori Loughlin, were indicted Tuesday by a Boston grand jury for conspiring to commit federal programs by paying employees at the University of Southern California to recognize defendants' children as athletic recruits or other favored admissions categories . . One of those parents, John Wilson of Lynnfield, Mass., Is charged with two more bribery conspiracy charges for allegedly paying to have their children enrolled at Harvard University and Stanford University.
Seven university buses and other university officials are also facing new charges
for conspiring to commit email and wire fraud as well as honest email and wire fraud services. Three of them – former USC athletic director Donna Heinel, former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst, and former UCLA men's soccer coach Jorge Salcedo – face additional costs for committing federal programs.
The latest charges increase the pressure on defendants, whose arraignment dates have not yet been set, to plead guilty before their case goes to trial. On Monday, four other parents signed review agreements before the new fees were made. Of the 52 persons imprisoned in the admissions scandal, a total of 29 have now agreed to appeal the guilty.
With these new charges that have been added previously, the defendants who insist on their innocence and have now been fined up to 45 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.
The wealthy businessmen and celebrities facing new fees include Full House actress Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. They are accused of paying a $ 500,000 bribe to USC officials to have their two daughters enlisted as recruits for the university's crew. None of them had even practiced the sport.
Meanwhile, Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman began serving a 14-day jail sentence last week after pleading guilty to the scandal.
Conspiracy to commit federal bribery charges is based on a federal statute that is triggered each time a bribe of at least $ 5,000 is given to an organization that receives more than $ 10,000 from the federal government. Virtually all colleges in the country, both public and private, would fit that category.
The $ 25 million college admissions scandal, William "Rick" Singer, has pleaded guilty to four federal charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors.