Dershowitz: Alleged College Admissions Scam Is 'One of the Great Scandals of the 21st Century'
Actresses among dozens charged by feds.
Harvard University Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz reacted Tuesday to the college admissions scandal that ensnared "Full House" star Lori Loughlin, "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman and more than 50 other individuals.
The alleged scam -- which placed students into top colleges such as Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas -- was run by William Rick Singer, from California, who helped parents get their children admission through bribes, court documents unsealed in Boston showed. Officials have been investigating the case for more than a year.
Singer, who authorities said will plead guilty to racketeering, ran the charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, which received $25 million in total to guarantee the admissions, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said during a Tuesday news conference. The charitable foundation was allegedly used as a front to run the scam.
"This is the worst scandal involving elite universities in the history of the United States," Dershowitz said. "No one can diminish the importance of this."
Dershowitz called the situation one of the "great scandals of the 21st Century" and predicted it is "just the tip of the iceberg."
He said this type of alleged influence has been exercised at universities for years by the "super, super rich" in the form of "buying buildings" which bear their name.
Dershowitz said this case appears to involve the "very rich" attempting to buy admission for their children into some of the country's most prominent institutions.
He said in today's college environment many students "sail through" because so few fail out.
"In many universities, they've abolished grades, so there's no way of testing whether they are qualified or competent," he explained.
Authorities said Huffman made a "purported charitable contribution of $15,000...to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme" in order to facilitate admission for her daughter, while Loughlin and her husband are alleged to have agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 to win admission for their daughters into USC.
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