Almost 50 people in the US have been charged in an alleged $25 million-college admissions scam that helped wealthy Americans secure a place for their offspring in prestigious colleges.
According to Reuters, the US Department of Justice reported that the scam involved bribing exam administrators to allow fake candidates to take exams instead of the actual students, and bribing university athletic coaches and doctoring photographs to pass off non-athletic applicants as elite competitors.
The kingpin of the scandal, 58-year-old William Singer, has pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Singer would charge amounts ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million to get students admitted to elite universities like Stanford and Yale. Celebrities including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have also been charged with fraud to get their children admitted to colleges as part of Singer’s racket.
Natueally, the revelations of what is reportedly the largest academic scandal ever prosecuted by the US Department of Justice were seized on gleefully by late night TV shows in the US. On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the host said that instead of spending money to the tune of $6.5 million in getting their kids to college, the rich parents should have just bought new kids (video above).
Noah also suggested that as part of the punishment, all coaches who accepted bribes should be forced to compete against all the fake athletes they recruited in what will make the plot of an “uninspiring Disney movie”. “None of these rich people are actually going to go to prison,” he added.
Jimmy Kimmel, host of the Jimmy Kimmel Live, added a fictional sketch and interacted with a “test taker” from the scandal. Chip Anderson, the test taker, played by 79-year-old actor Fred Willard, called himself a sophomore, used phrases like “it’s dope” and “it’s lit”.
On his part, Stephen Colbert took a jibe at US President Donald Trump, saying that he is not involved in this scandal since it is related to higher education, which is “sort of refreshing in a horrible way”.