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    What You Need to Know about the College Cheating Scandal Arrests

    What You Need to Know about the College Cheating Scandal Arrests
    • The feds arrested 50 people today in connection with a nationwide college cheating scandal.
    • The “Operation Varsity Blues” indictment charges conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
    • Celebrities such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those arrested.
    • It is an unprecedented sting that targeted wealthy parents and kids who may have cheated on their SATs or bought their way into top colleges and universities.

    What is honest services fraud?

    It’s a broadly interpreted crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1346. You can get arrested by the FBI for honest services fraud if you engage in a fraudulent scheme to deprive another of honest services through bribes or kickbacks.

    Here, the FBI’s college cheating indictment accuses many of the defendants of bribing and paying off third parties to get their kids into colleges. Some even are accused of paying off third parties to take the SAT and ACT for their children.

    Why are they charged with wire fraud?

    The feds charged most of these defendants with the all-encompassing wire fraud charge under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 because most of the payments were sent via bank wire.

    Can these people go to jail for this or is the FBI just trying to send a message?

    Both. Honest services fraud and wire fraud arrests in Connecticut can expose you to up to 20 years in prison; however, if these people are convicted or plead guilty, the sentences will not come close to that.

    Federal prosecutors often prosecute stings like these to accomplish the prosecutorial goal of deterrence—meaning to deter (or scare) other people from doing the same thing.

    Can I get arrested for making up a learning disability for my child so they can take the SAT / ACT untimed?

    Possibly. Especially if it’s part of a grander plan to fabricate information about your child in order to get them into college. Some of the defendants in this indictment are accused of doing this and federal prosecutors felt it was part of the conspiracy and scheme to arrest these people.

    Contact a Connecticut Federal Wire Fraud / Mail Fraud Lawyer Today

    For more information on federal wire fraud / federal honest services fraud charges, or questions about how this college cheating scandal could impact you or your child, call the Connecticut federal criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. You can click here to see our certified reviews. Then give us a call at (203) 358-4700.