Over 50 people, including celebrities, CEOs, and administrators, have been charged following the long-running college admissions scandal. Those charged paid over $25 million to ensure their children were admitted to elite universities, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California, despite the students not having the qualifying credentials. Among those charged, the most notable are Lori Loughlin, from “Full House,” her husband and fashion designer, Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman, from “Desperate Housewives.” Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted for allegedly paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as crew recruits to guarantee admission to USC, despite neither girl ever having done crew. Huffman, meanwhile, was indicted for allegedly paying an organization $15,000 to help her daughter cheat on the SAT. Continue reading
In Florida, conspiracy is defined by statute as a person who agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any offense commits the offense of criminal conspiracy. In lay terms, conspiracy occurs when two or more individuals agree to commit a crime and intend for that crime to actually occur. All that is needed is the intent and the agreement, no further steps towards completing the intended crime are required. A simple example would be two individuals who agree to rob a bank together, with one individual saying “Hey, let’s go rob a bank,” and the other individual saying “O.K.”. Even if the robbery never occurs, they could still be charged with conspiracy. If they were to actually rob the bank then they could face both conspiracy and robbery charges.
The state does not need direct evidence, such as having the conversation recorded or in writing, to prove the agreement was formed. The agreement can be inferred from circumstantial evidence surrounding the crime. Surrounding circumstances that can be considered as circumstantial evidence of an agreement may be being at the scene of a crime together and actions that would constitute aiding and abetting, although those factors standing alone are not enough to prove a conspiracy occurred. If a crime is committed by more than one individual and their actions while committing the offense indicate that they would have needed to have a prior agreement to be able to execute the crime in the manner that they did could be circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Continue reading