Mar 12, 2019

At least 50 charged in massive college entrance bribery scheme

The Justice Department charged at least 50 people on Tuesday in a college entrance scheme that involved crimes dating back to 2011.

The big picture: In what U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling called the "largest college admittance scam ever charged by the Department of Justice," some defendants allegedly bribed athletic coaches and administrators to falsely portray their children as athletic recruits, while others bribed administrators to allow cheating on college-entrance exams.

  • Two actresses — Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives" and Lori Loughlin of "Full House"— were charged alongside dozens of others.
  • An FBI official said during a press conference that approximately 300 special agents from the FBI and IRS set out to arrest 46 individuals this morning. At least 38 have been safely taken into custody, 7 are working toward surrender and 1 is being actively pursued. Among the people charged are 33 parents who paid "enormous sums" to ensure their children's' entrance and 9 coaches. Other parents are believed to have been involved.
  • Officials say parents spent between $200,000 to $6.5 million.
  • Lelling said that the colleges are not of interest in the ongoing investigation.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.