BEVERLY HILLS—Federal prosecutors charged Robert Flaxman, of Beverly Hills and CEO of the real estate development firm, Crown Realty on March 12 for participating in the college admissions cheating scandal.
Flaxman is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors allege that Flaxman paid about $250,000 in bribes and a college entrance exam-taker to get his children into elite universities. According to court documents, he bribed a coach to help his son gain admission into the University of San Diego as a fake athletic recruit. Flaxman paid his hired help to assist his daughter cheat on her ACT exam.
Court documents released last week indicate that Flaxman participated in both the college recruitment scheme and the college entrance exam scheme in or about 2016. He is due to appear in federal court on Friday, March 29 at 2:30 p.m. before Judge M. Page Kelley.
Participants in the college admissions scandal have been accused of paying bribes to athletic coaches to help students get admitted to prestigious institutions like Yale, USC, Georgetown, and Stanford. This is the largest college admissions cheating scandal prosecuted in U.S. History.
The mastermind behind the scam is William Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The $25 million nationwide college-acceptance fraud scandal, implicated 50 people including two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator and 33 parents in what authorities dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were both arrested and charged in court last week. Huffman and Loughlin were charged for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman was arrested at her Hollywood Hills home by FBI officials on March 12, Loughlin turned herself into authorities on March 13.
The affidavit in support of criminal complaint revealed that Huffman contributed $15,000 for her eldest daughter to have her incorrect exam answers altered to increase her SAT score. Arrangements were made to re-attempt the scheme for her younger daughter, but she did not pursue it.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Gianulli, known for the popular clothing brand Mossimo, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
The complaint also revealed federal agents have recorded phone calls of the celebrities speaking with cooperating witnesses and have incriminating emails from Loughlin.
Written By Christianne McCormick and Michael Erazo