AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Students target colleges in lawsuit over bribery scheme

Students target colleges in lawsuit over bribery scheme

Posted: Updated:
(Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP). In a September 2016 photo, Yale's women's Head Soccer Coach Rudy Meredith gives a high five to a player after making a great play in a scrimmage, in Frankfort, Ky. According to the federal indictments unsealed Tuesday, ... (Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP). In a September 2016 photo, Yale's women's Head Soccer Coach Rudy Meredith gives a high five to a player after making a great play in a scrimmage, in Frankfort, Ky. According to the federal indictments unsealed Tuesday, ...
(AP Photo/Rick Taber). In this still image taken from video, actress Felicity Huffman walks towards the door in the lobby of a Los Angeles court after she is released on a $250,000 bond, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Huffman is among 50 people charged in a ... (AP Photo/Rick Taber). In this still image taken from video, actress Felicity Huffman walks towards the door in the lobby of a Los Angeles court after she is released on a $250,000 bond, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Huffman is among 50 people charged in a ...
(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine "Ones To Watch" party in Los Angeles. The FBI says Loughlin has been taken into custody in connection... (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine "Ones To Watch" party in Los Angeles. The FBI says Loughlin has been taken into custody in connection...
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2017 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with her daughters Bella, left, and Olivia Jade at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles. The FBI says actress Lori Loughlin has ... (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2017 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with her daughters Bella, left, and Olivia Jade at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles. The FBI says actress Lori Loughlin has ...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Books on slavery, prison system win literary prizes

    Books on slavery, prison system win literary prizes

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 6:11 AM EDT2019-03-20 10:11:03 GMT
    Wednesday, March 20 2019 1:51 PM EDT2019-03-20 17:51:37 GMT
    Books on slavery, the prison system and the Harlem Renaissance are among this year's winners of Lukas prizes.More >>
    Books on slavery, the prison system and the Harlem Renaissance are among this year's winners of Lukas prizes.More >>
  • Fed's likely message: No increase in loan rates anytime soon

    Fed's likely message: No increase in loan rates anytime soon

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 12:31 AM EDT2019-03-20 04:31:15 GMT
    Wednesday, March 20 2019 1:51 PM EDT2019-03-20 17:51:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File). FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on monetary policy on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Wednesday, March 2...(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File). FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on monetary policy on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Wednesday, March 2...
    (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File). FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on monetary policy on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Wednesday, March 2...(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File). FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on monetary policy on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Wednesday, March 2...
    Fed is likely to stay 'patient' and scale back its forecast for rate hikes this year.More >>
    Fed is likely to stay 'patient' and scale back its forecast for rate hikes this year.More >>
  • Lawsuit: Harvard 'shamelessly' profits from photos of slaves

    Lawsuit: Harvard 'shamelessly' profits from photos of slaves

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 10:31 AM EDT2019-03-20 14:31:14 GMT
    Wednesday, March 20 2019 1:41 PM EDT2019-03-20 17:41:35 GMT
    (John Shishmanian/The Norwich Bulletin via AP). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Tamara Lanier holds an 1850 photograph of Renty, a South Carolina slave who Lanier said is her family's patriarch, at her home in Norwich, Conn. The portrait was commissioned...(John Shishmanian/The Norwich Bulletin via AP). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Tamara Lanier holds an 1850 photograph of Renty, a South Carolina slave who Lanier said is her family's patriarch, at her home in Norwich, Conn. The portrait was commissioned...
    (John Shishmanian/The Norwich Bulletin via AP). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Tamara Lanier holds an 1850 photograph of Renty, a South Carolina slave who Lanier said is her family's patriarch, at her home in Norwich, Conn. The portrait was commissioned...(John Shishmanian/The Norwich Bulletin via AP). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Tamara Lanier holds an 1850 photograph of Renty, a South Carolina slave who Lanier said is her family's patriarch, at her home in Norwich, Conn. The portrait was commissioned...
    A Connecticut woman says Harvard University has "shamelessly" turned a profit from photos of two 19th century slaves she says are her ancestors.More >>
    A Connecticut woman says Harvard University has "shamelessly" turned a profit from photos of two 19th century slaves she says are her ancestors.More >>

By SUDHIN THANAWALA and MICHAEL MELIA
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - In one of the first lawsuits to come out of the college bribery scandal, several students are suing Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and other schools involved in the case, saying they and others were denied a fair shot at admission.

The plaintiffs brought the class-action complaint Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of themselves and other applicants, asking for unspecified damages and the return of all application fees.

They argued that applicants who played by the rules were victimized when rich and famous parents paid bribes that enabled unqualified students to get into highly selective universities.

"Each of the universities took the students' admission application fees while failing to take adequate steps to ensure that their admissions process was fair and free of fraud, bribery, cheating and dishonesty," the lawsuit said.

Legal experts, though, said the students could have difficulty holding the colleges responsible.

The scandal erupted Tuesday when federal prosecutors announced charges against 50 people, including coaches and dozens of parents, among them TV actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Prosecutors said parents paid to rig standardized exams and bribed coaches to get their children designated as recruited athletes in sports they didn't even play, thereby boosting their chances of getting in.

The colleges have cast themselves as victims and moved to distance themselves from the coaches by firing or suspending them.

The investigation began with a tip from an executive under suspicion in a securities fraud probe, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The executive told Boston authorities that the women's soccer coach at Yale offered to label the executive's daughter a recruited athlete in exchange for cash, the official said.

Among other developments Thursday:

- The Hallmark Channel cut ties with Loughlin, a longtime star of its feel-good movies.

-Cosmetics company Sephora and hair-product company TRESemme dropped Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli, a 19-year-old social media star who had previously pushed their products online.

- Golfer Phil Mickelson said he used the college consulting company accused of orchestrating the scheme but emphasized his family was not involved in any fraud. One of his daughters is a sophomore at Brown University. Brown said it has found no evidence of fraud among its athletes.

The class-action complaint was brought initially by Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, now students at Stanford. It was revised Thursday to remove Olsen and add three new plaintiffs, students at Tulane, Rutgers and an unnamed community college.

One of the institutions being sued, the University of Texas at Austin, issued a statement saying that it is "outraged" over the bribery scheme and that any wrongdoing at the school does not reflect its admissions practices and was carried out by "one UT employee."

Other schools named in the lawsuit were the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles, Wake Forest University and the University of San Diego.

The students in the lawsuit could have a difficult time tying the schools to the fraud in the absence of further evidence, said Joy Blanchard, a professor at Louisiana State University who focuses on higher education law.

"They won't be able to prove that the universities were behind some grand scheme," she said.

Kyle McEntee, an attorney who has pushed for reforms in law school education, said the lawsuit "reeks of opportunism."

"It's tough to see these succeeding," he said.

Legal experts said the plaintiffs at highly selective Stanford would have had an especially hard time showing they suffered any harm because they still got into an elite institution.

Messages seeking comment from Olsen and Woods were not immediately returned. An email to one of their attorneys, John Medler, also was not immediately returned.

Among other claims, the lawsuit said that the universities should have discovered the bribes and that their failure to do so through audits or other practices reflects "an unfair business practice."

The lawsuit seeks to represent everyone who applied between 2012 and 2018, paid an application fee and was rejected by one of the named schools.

David Levine, an expert in lawsuit rules and procedures at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, said the plaintiffs may succeed in returning application fees to prospective students but probably won't get anything more.

"The big money is unlikely to be there," he said.

USC officials said earlier this week that prosecutors believe the perpetrators "went to great lengths to conceal their actions from the university." Yale, likewise, said it was "the victim of a crime."

____

Melia reported from Hartford, Connecticut. Associated Press writer Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.