Operation Varsity Blues: could we be staring at this generation's Watergate?

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among a host of helicopter parents caught scamming the US college admission system. Just don’t expect true justice

If there’s one thing 2019 loves, it’s a scam. So prayers and thanks to Felicity Huffman (Lynette from Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (one of those curious only-famous-in-America, shiny-hair-and-down-home-corn-syrup-sponsorship-deal types, nominally Aunt Becky from Full House) for delivering. They, along with a ring of 50 others, were indicted this week in a college admissions scam that has already, and astonishingly, been titled Operation Varsity Blues. If criminal investigations can live long in the memory based on the case name printed at the top of the folders submitted to the police alone, we could be staring at this generation’s Watergate.

Brief recap: both Huffman and Loughlin had really dumb 17-year-old daughters, but they also realised they are rich, so went about making sure both children entered into their chosen elite colleges with better-than-expected SAT scores. As per FBI investigation transcripts (the actual FBI, unbelievably. Did they not have much going on? I like to think of agents in mirrored Aviators trained to stop bullets hitting the president instead listening in a van parked outside William H Macy’s house while he chats on the phone about revision timetables), Huffman allegedly spent $15,000 (£11,000) in collaboration with shady spider-armed college admissions baddies Key Worldwide Organisation. Apparently, they moved her daughter’s SAT exam to a different location and made sure it was overseen by a hand-picked procter who, as best we can tell, simply whistled and looked away from the clock while Huffman Jr finished her test, then went over the answers afterwards with a pencil. The procter was allegedly paid $40,000, Huffman’s daughter scored a 400-point increase on the same exam taken a year earlier, and everyone (apart from legitimate students and those who failed to get college places because they were already taken by rich kids who took over an hour to do basic maths, obviously) wins.

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