There have been multiple felony charges, including bribery and money laundering. The very famous Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were accused, but so were many other wealthy parents.
Money laundering. They aren't talking about the dollar bills that go through the wash, either.
The largest college admission scam ever involves over 50 people with one thing in common: criminal behavior. This is not an indictment on universities or college education, it's an indictment on individuals committing criminal behavior. These people cheated on the SAT, faked learning disabilities to get accommodations, lied about activities, paid a criminal $100,000 to $6.5 million, and then disguised the cost of their fraud as charitable donations.
We will always need both college educated and technical blue collar workers from trade schools. Neither is a superior path. Cheating in life will always be present (although rarely to this degree.)
The solution is to be honest and true. Choose "fit" over prestige. Parents can do better than this by being their own college coach, one who guides in honesty with a view on long term success. Yes, there are ethical college coaches that may charge $70,000 as mentioned in the article. No, those are not required to get into college. You can do it yourself. If you are eager for more information, check out the College Launch Solution.
In my classes, I do talk about cheating, and why certain steps are necessary to demonstrate you and your teen are above board and honest. This is why colleges look for excessive tests, to try to weed out cheaters who bought their way through high school and into college. This is why the college board makes it so hard to get disability accommodation, because some parents abuse the system. This is why being honest and true with the your transcript is always the prime directive, and why describing classes in course descriptions can demonstrate follow-through and a serious education in a homeschoolers.
Updated information on the news story
How to avoid a college admission cheating scandal, fine, or imprisonment in 5 simple steps.
3. Don't cheat.
4. Don't pay people to lie or cheat for you.
5. Only launder money in the washer and dryer.
If you aren't sure you can get your child into college and pay for them to attend, there are better ways to do it than lying and cheating. May I suggest the College Launch Solution as an alternative to a life of crime? Egads....
And if you launder any of your teenager's allowance, I'd say it legally belongs to you now.