New ‘Varsity Blues’ charges affect 11 parents, including Lori Loughlin


(ABC NEWS) — A grand jury in Boston on Tuesday returned additional charges against 18 people tied to the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.

The new charges affect 11 of 15 previously charged parents, including Lori Loughlin, and seven university officials.

The charges were announced in separate statements by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The jury in the District of Massachusetts is alleging that 11 defendants — Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Mossimo Giannulli, Elisabeth Kimmell, Lori Loughlin, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo — “conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children’s admission,” according to the DOJ statement.

Wilson, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, additional has been charged with two counts of substantive federal programs bribery in connection with efforts to use bribes to get his children into Harvard University and Stanford University.

The indictments also include more charges against McGlashan Jr., Wilson, Zangrillo and Joey Chen, who stand accused of fraud and honest services wire fraud in connection with previous charges.

The seven university officials facing additional charges are: Gordon Ernst, Donna Heinel, Jorge Salcedo, Mikaela Sanford, Jovan Vavic, Niki Williams and William Ferguson.

They’re accused of “conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail and wire fraud, in connection with the previously charged scheme to accept bribes and engage in other forms of fraud to facilitate cheating on standardized admissions tests and to secure the admission of students to elite universities by designating them as purported athletic recruits or members of other favored admissions categories,” according to the statement.

Ernst, Heinel, Salcedo, Sanford, Vavic and Williams also “face substantive wire and honest services wire fraud charges in connection with the scheme,” the DOJ said. Additionally, Ernst, Heinel, and Salcedo are facing new charges of “conspiring to commit federal programs bribery by soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to the universities where they worked: Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, and The University of California – Los Angeles.”

Ernst also has been charged with “substantive counts of federal programs bribery and money laundering,” the statement said.

Those now facing additional charges were arrested earlier this year or in 2018 for their roles in the $25 million college admissions scandal allegedly masterminded by William “Rick” Singer.

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