News & Opinion | April 27, 2019 10:48 am

Family From China Paid $6.5 Million in College Admissions Scandal: Report

Operation Varsity Blues reaches to China.

Admissions scandal reaches to China, Yale and far beyond. (GettyImages)
Admissions scandal reaches to China, Yale and far beyond. (GettyImages)
Getty Images

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While Hollywood actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman have become the faces of the college-admissions scandal, the highest-paying clients of the higher-education scam reportedly are from China, according to ABC News, which confirmed a Wall Street Journal report. One Chinese family allegedly paid $6.5 million to William “Rick” Singer, the California-based college counselor who came up with the scheme, to get their child into a leading school, a source with knowledge of the ongoing investigation called “Operation Varsity Blues” told ABC.

The $6.5 million sum is the largest known payoff, while another Chinese student’s family paid Singer $1.2 million in order to ensure her admission to Yale, reports ABC. Colleges sometimes scrutinize foreign agents hired to coordinate international applications, but apply less scrutiny to U.S.-based college counselors, such as Singer, according to the news outlet. Dozens of other parents, now facing criminal charges shelled out between $250,000 to $400,000 for Singer’s illegal services.

The academic scandal came to light on March 12 when U.S. Attorney for District of Massachusetts announced charges against more than 50 people, including CEOs and actors. Singer, who ran a college counseling service, pleaded guilty to helping students by cheating on the SATS or ACTs or by falsely reporting applicants were student athletes.