While administrators of college entrance exams are implicated, no students or universities were charged.
"These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege", said Andrew Lelling, the United States attorney in Boston, Massachusetts where the case was announced.
Prosecutors say parents paid an admissions consultant $25 million from 2011 through February 2019 to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into schools.
That celebrities were among the accused parents - actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman headline the list - created much buzz, but other parents charged included people prominent in law, finance, fashion, manufacturing and other fields - people who could afford the steep price.
"Every year hundreds of thousands of hard-working, talented students strive for admission to elite schools", he said. (PIMCO), Douglas Hodge, allegedly "agreed to use bribery to facilitate the admission of two of his children to USC as purported athletic recruits" and sought to enlist the support of a cooperating witness to secure college admissions for a third child through bribery as well, according to the criminal complaint.
In this case, however, Singer arranged for someone to take the test for the students, or paid insiders to fix their scores.
People are now wondering the impact that this scheme had on deserving students.
Authorities say clients laundered payments to Singer as donations to a nonprofit that claimed to help underserved kids.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher co-Chair and Hillary Clinton donor, Gordon Caplan, allegedly paid $75,000 to college coaches to have someone else take an admissions exam for his daughter, according to the indictment.
"They don't have a lacrosse team". The Silicon Valley investor has been charged with making a $50,000 charitable contribution in order to falsify his son's ACT test results and thereby get his son admitted to the University of Southern California.
"Is there a way to do it in a way that he doesn't know that happened?" he asked one of Singer's cronies in a phone call recorded by the feds.
"But once he gets here, he just goes, he doesn't go to athletic orientation, He goes to the regular orientation like all my other kids just did. and everything's fine".
In McGlashan's case, authorities allege, he authorized Singer to Photoshop his son's face on the body of a football player to trick Stanford and the University of Southern California that his son had experience in a sport he never played.