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Hollywood Actors Arrested in College Admissions Fraud

In a coordinated effort across state lines, federal authorities announced charges and arrests for fifty people involved in a $25 million fraud operation targeting the college admission process. Wealthy parents paid bribe money to fake charities in order to ensure that their children would gain admittance to high profile schools, including Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California (USC). Among the parents arrested were actors Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman, who both played dedicated mothers on television.

The sting, entitled “Operation Varsity Blues,” revealed the immense breadth of the fraud, which involved parents, college coaches, test-doctoring proctors, corrupt administrators, and other go-betweens. Some of the students didn’t know about the fraud, but many actively participated – several, for example, by posing as athletes in photos for sports they never played.

The public reaction has been swift and brutal. Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of students and their families denied admission to the colleges in question, and both actors have experienced financial and professional repercussions. Huffman took down her parenting website and e-commerce store. Loughlin has since lost work on Netflix (she played Aunt Becky on the Full House revival, Fuller House).

Interestingly, both Loughlin and Huffman played characters involved in admission controversies. In season 6 of Full House, Loughlin’s Aunt Becky and John Stamos’ Uncle Jesse fudge a few details to get their toddlers into the right preschool. And in season 1 of Desperate Housewives, Huffman’s character once donated $15,000 to get her twins in a prestigious school – the exact amount mentioned in the actual criminal indictment.

Potential Preaching Angle: It is shocking to spot hypocrisy and a lack of integrity in others, especially public figures. Our reaction is “swift and brutal.” But what about our hypocrisy? Jesus warned us that we must take the log out of our own eye before attacking the speck in someone else’s eye.

Nate Raymond, “Hollywood actors, CEOs accused of paying bribes, faking photos to scam U.S. college admissions,” Reuters (3-12-19)

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