Two Students File a Lawsuit Over College Admissions Scandal

Two Stanford students have sued schools in a class-action lawsuit over a college admissions bribery scandal that involved wealthy parents and some elite universities.

They say the cheating plot denied them a fair shot to apply at the schools. The University of Southern California, Yale, UCLA and Georgetown are among the schools named in the lawsuit.

The accused plot mastermind, William Singer, who created Key Worldwide Foundation as a charity in 2013, also is named in the suit.

The bribery scheme allowed “unqualified students” to find their way into the universities, “while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing” were not treated fairly, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs, students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, allege the schools were negligent in “failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures” to guarantee a fair admissions process.

The plaintiffs claim they were denied a fair opportunity to be admitted to the colleges. They argue their degrees from Stanford are devalued because of the charges filed earlier this week by federal investigators.

It is the first class-action lawsuit filed over the scandal.

Singer, of Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in federal court Tuesday in Boston. Coaches and dozens of parents are among the 50 people charged in the scheme, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and high-achieving figures in such fields as law, finance and fashion.

Singer’s agency registered as a charity allegedly funneled money from the parents to bribe coaches and others to get their children enrolled.

The schools themselves are not part of the federal charges. 

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