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Chicago schools touched by college admissions fraud scandal

Chicago’s news outlets have featured headlines over the past few days about the college admissions scandal. Fifty people have been indicted, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

A pair of Chicago schools have connections to the scandal: the son of William Singer, the CEO of the college admissions prep company at the epicenter of the scandal, has a son who graduated from DePaul two years ago. The elder Singer donated at least $150,000 to the school while his son attended classes at the Lincoln Park campus.

Singer’s charity – described by federal prosecutors as a money-laundering operation – made three donations of $50,000 each to the school. In a statement, DePaul said the Singer gifts were to support students studying abroad.

Northwestern was also touched by the admissions scandal, WGN reported. A California couple charged in the admissions brouhaha has a daughter attending Northwestern. Prosecutors claim the couple flew their daughter to Houston for an ACT test and paid Singer $50,000.

Other schools named as targets of wealthy parents eager to see their kids admitted include Stanford University, UCLA, USC, Georgetown University, the University of Texas and Yale University, among others.

Of the 50 people charged, 33 have been parents. Prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and that more individuals could be charged in coming days.

Those facing federal white collar crime charges should decline to speak with prosecutors and investigators until they have discussed their legal options with an attorney experienced in mail fraud, wire fraud and related defenses.

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