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Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Appear In Court For College Admissions Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin appeared in Boston federal court briefly Wednesday alongside other wealthy parents Wednesday to face charges in connection with the admissions bribery scandal that has rocked the college world.

The 54-year-old Loughlin and her husband, fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli, along with the 56-year-old Huffman are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The three said little during the brief hearing and were not asked to enter a plea. Loughlin and Giannulli are both free on $1 million bond, while Huffman is free on $250,000 bond. Several other parents were given similar hearings of a few minutes each.

Felicity Huffman
Actress Felicity Huffman enters the court to appear before Judge M. Page Kelley to face charge for allegedly conspiring to commit mail fraud and other charges in the college admissions scandal at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images)

All three have previously appeared in federal court in Los Angeles. Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged in the case.

On March 12, the two actresses were among about 50 people federally indicted in a widespread and sophisticated college admission bribery scheme in which parents were accused of paying off college coaches and standardized testing administrators millions of dollars in order to get their children into elite universities.

The colleges named included USC, UCLA, Yale, Georgetown and Stanford. None of the schools themselves have yet been accused of wrongdoing.

The mastermind of the scheme was a Newport Beach businessman known as Rick Singer, 58. He has already pled guilty in the case.

Lori Loughlin court
Actress Lori Loughlin exits the courthouse after facing charges for allegedly conspiring to commit mail fraud and other charges in the college admissions scandal at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)

The racketeering conspiracy case includes 33 parents and nine college coaches. Parents charged in the alleged scheme are accused of paying Singer a total of $25 million between 2011 and February 2019 for the arrangement.

"There are recorded phone calls, and there are emails, and there are wiretaps, and there are other types of communications that are documented and aren't going anywhere," legal analyst Steve Meister told CBS2 Tuesday. "So, that's the kind of case that the federal government brings."

Meister told CBS2 that if the accused parents don't plead guilty, they could face even more charges and see their family members indicted.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither ever rowed crew. Both daughters are still enrolled at USC, but have to attended class since the scandal broke.

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Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to the nonprofit Key Worldwide Foundation, which is run by Singer, to have someone correct her daughter's answers on the SAT.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced it is investigating UCLA, USC and six other universities to determine whether they conducted any acts of wrongdoing in relation to the scandal.

USC has said it was conducting a case-by-case review of current students and graduates who may be connected to the scandal and they will make informed decisions about those cases as the reviews are completed.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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