How a Yale Dad Kickstarted the Entire College Admissions Bribery Scandal

All it took was one person willing to dime on the operation.


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The college admissions scandal has it all: Schadenfreude at watching rich families get caught trying to rig the game; confirmation that the admissions process at elite universities is rigged toward the 1 percent; and a healthy helping of Gen Z influencers and IG-famous folks. In a complicated story like this one, it can be hard to track the story to the beginning. But it turns out we have someone to thank for the equal parts entertaining and disheartening saga: One Yale dad. 

Financial executive Morrie Tobin broke the seal of the scandal while he was under investigation for securities fraud, according to sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal

Tobin was being questioned for his part in an alleged pump-and-dump scheme. For those who don't regularly commit white-collar crimes, that's a way in which people inflate the prices of a stock so that they can quickly turn around and sell them. As part of a plea for leniency, Tobin admitted that a Yale soccer coach asked for a bribe in exchange for admission to the Ivy League school for his daughter. Investigators were able to follow that thread to Felicity Huffman, Lori Laughlin and at least one bold, blunt-smoking teen

The revelation that rich parents were gaming the system didn't come as too much of a shock, but having it spelled out on paper gave folks the leeway to take action against it. Two Stanford students have filed a class-action lawsuit against the schools involved and Huffman and Loughlin are staring down a massive civil case on top of their criminal charges.  

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