US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling told a press conference in Boston on Tuesday that the case was "largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted", saying those charged collaborated to send students to top tier US universities with bribe, Xinhua news agency reported.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston described it as "a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities".
Singer is also accused of bribing college coaches and athletic officials to say a prospective student should be accepted because the student was a recruit for their sports team.
The government claims Huffman "made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000" in order to participate in the scam on behalf of her college-age daughter.
In the criminal complaint unveiled Tuesday, authorities said that Yale University's former women's soccer coach allegedly took a $400,000 bribe to pretend to place a student on the team and help get her into the school, even though the student did not play competitive soccer.
Several defendants, including Huffman, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. "Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so".
The schools include Yale, Stanford, Georgetown University and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said. Dozens, including Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives", were arrested by midday.More news: George Foreman's Daughter Freeda Dead At 42
More news: Tucker Carlson not apologizing for 'misogynistic' comments
More news: Daylight Saving Time 2019: When Does the Time Change?
From 2011 to 2018, Lelling said wealthy parents made about $25 million in payments to guarantee their children's admission to elite schools, and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents wiretapped phone calls involving some of the parents and a cooperating witness.
Messages seeking comment from Huffman's representative were not immediately returned.
As GoLocalProv reported, Ernst and almost 50 other people, including Hollywood stars, wealthy business leaders and coaches at top American universities, with paying or accepting bribes to admit student applicants.
Macy was not charged; authorities did not say why.
The racketeering conspiracy charges unveiled Tuesday were brought against the coaches at schools including Wake Forest University, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.
The documents also allege that some defendants created fake athletic profiles for students to make them appear to be successful athletes and get them into college.
- Between 2011-2018 prosecutors allege parents paid the consultant $25 million to bribe coaches and college administrators to designate their children as student athletes or member of other groups given favored admission status.