Two Florida Men Caught in College Admissions Cheating Probe

BRADENTON (WFLA News) -- Two Floridians are among those caught up in what the feds are calling the biggest college admissions bribery scandal in history.

Boston U-S Attorney Andrew Lelling says nearly 50 people are facing charges in "Operation Varsity Blues"... which busted a group of wealthy parents trying to pass their kids off as super scholars or potential college athletes.

The federal indictment, unsealed in Boston, says a Palmetto man played a critical role in the scheme. Prosecutors claim wealthy parents... including CEOs and actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin... funneled $25 million through a fake charity that would bribe SAT and ACT administrators to allow stand-ins to take college entrance exams, or bribe coaches to tell admissions officers that applicants were world-class athletes. Mark Riddell allegedly took tests for students after bribing test officials. Riddell was listed as director of College Entrance Exam preparation for IMG Academy in Bradenton. That's a private prep school that recruits young athletes from around the country, to prepare them to win athletic scholarships at top colleges. IMG is not implicated in the federal investigation.

Also indicted is Miami businessman and venture capitalist Robert Zangrillo, the founder of Dragon Global Management. Prosecutors say he conspired to pay bribes to get his daughter into the University of Southern California.

California businessman William Singer is pleading guilty as the alleged ringleader of the scheme, which ran from 2011 to 2018.

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