The former "Desperate Housewives" star and "Fuller House" actress Loughlin were among the 50 people indicted by federal authorities in Boston, Massachusetts as part of the U.S.-wide scheme, according to documents unsealed on Tuesday, March 12.
The paperwork suggests wealthy parents have been handing over cash to exam administrators or athletics coaches to help secure places for their kids at elite colleges, including Yale, Georgetown, and Stanford University, regardless of their abilities.
Those named in the indictment are now facing counts including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
A press release issued by prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts reads, "Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston."
TMZ reports Huffman, who has two daughters with husband William H. Macy, is in custody and is expected to be released on a signature bond, which allows her to walk free on the condition that she appears in court at a later date.
Prosecutors claim she paid $15,000 (£11,500) to help one of her children score high on an entrance exam, while Loughlin, who also has two girls with husband Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly handed over $500,000 (£382,000) to a school coach to falsely state that their daughters were recruits for the rowing team at University of Southern California.
Authorities obtained the names of the alleged participants after cornering a California businessman who ran the operation, and are reported to have secretly recorded telephone calls with Huffman and a witness, while emails from Loughlin are said to have helped to implicate her in the scam.
Representatives for the actresses have yet to comment on the allegations.