Timeline: The major developments in the college admissions scandal

Felicity Huffman. Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images

In what Department of Justice prosecutors are calling the biggest admissions scam in U.S. history, at least 50 people allegedly bribed coaches and paid for forged standardized tests in a conspiracy to get their children admitted to elite American colleges.

Details: To date, 50 people — from business leaders to celebrities like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman and athletic coaches — have been charged in the alleged scheme, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

Ex-Stanford coach avoids prison in college admissions scandal

Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer at the Boston federal courthouse in March. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer at the Boston federal courthouse. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The former Stanford University head sailing coach avoided prison time at his sentencing on Wednesday after he admitted to helping secure spots for students at the school in exchange for $610,000 in bribes, AP reports.

Why it matters: Ex-coach John Vandemoer is the first to be sentenced of the 50 people connected to the college admission scandal, an underground web of wealthy parents who used money to guarantee their children's acceptance into several universities. Judge Rya Zobel's decision sets the tone for the fates of coaches, parents and other co-conspirators involved.