The University of Southern California, Yale University (shown above) and several other elite colleges are being sued by two Stanford University students who claim they were denied a fair opportunity for admission and have had their degrees devalued due to the college cheating scheme revealed by federal officials Tuesday.
Erica Olson and Kalea Woods filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday, a day after federal authorities said they uncovered one of the largest college admissions scams to hit the U.S.
The lawsuit seeks $5,000,001 on behalf of what the lawyers estimate will be thousands of plaintiffs who fit the criteria to seek class status.
The University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Stanford, Yale and USC — along with William “Rick” Singer, who was called the ringleader of the admissions scheme — were also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The students said they weren’t given a fair opportunity to be accepted into the elite colleges where they applied because some people were allegedly admitted based on fake athletic profiles and distorted SAT and ACT scores obtained through bribes.
Singer would obtain college acceptance letters for his clients’ children by either helping them cheat on entrance exams or pretend they were being recruited as an athlete in a school sport, authorities said.
The 58-year-old, who ran the for-profit college prep business Edge College & Career Network also known as The Key”and the charity Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), pitched it to parents as the “side door” method to getting into colleges.
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“Each of the universities were negligent in failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures in place to guarantee the sanctity of the college admissions process, and to ensure that their own employees were not engaged in these type of bribery schemes,” the complaint stated.
The suit added: “Unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission.”
Olsen said if she knew Yale University’s admission system was “warped and rigged by fraud,” she would’ve never spent money to apply to the school.
“She was never informed that the process of admission was an unfair, rigged process, in which rich parents could buy their way into the university through bribery,” the suit stated.
The two ultimately attended Stanford — which also admitted students who allegedly gained acceptance letters through Singer’s “side door” method.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 14, 2019
Olsen and Woods said they believe their Stanford degrees were devalued because “prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”
Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and money laundering on Tuesday. A total of 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged for their alleged involvement in the scheme.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. This Fox News piece is used by permission.
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