While Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are already facing criminal charges related to the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the nation earlier this week, they are now also being hit with a $500 billion lawsuit filed by an outraged parent.
Jennifer Kay Toy filed a complaint on Wednesday in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, against all the defendants in the college admissions bribery scandal, including Huffman, Loughlin, her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, businessman Gregory Abbot, private equity investor Bill McGlashan, and many others.
Toy, a former school teacher from Oakland, California, claimed in her lawsuit that her son, Joshua Toy, was rejected from some of the same colleges that were involved in the bribery scandal, despite his work ethic and 4.2 GPA, and she believes he wouldn’t have been if the admissions process wasn’t manipulated.
“Because of Joshua’s hard work and study he graduated with a 4.2 grade point average. I couldn’t be more proud. Joshua applied to some of the colleges where the cheating took place and did not get in,” Toy wrote in the lawsuit. “Joshua and I believed that he’d had a fair chance just like all other applicants, but did not make the cut for some undisclosed reason.”
“I’m now aware of the massive cheating scandal wherein wealthy people conspired with people in positions of power and authority at colleges in order to allow their children to gain access to the very colleges that Joshua was rejected from,” Toy continued, claiming, “Plaintiffs simply wanted a fair chance for themselves or their children to go to a good college, and that opportunity for a fair chance was stolen by the actions of the Defendants… who feel that, because they are wealthy, they are allowed to lie, cheat and steal from others.”
Toy’s lawsuit is considered as a class action complaint, filed “on behalf of all persons in the United States… whose rights to a fair chance at entrance to college was stolen by the actions of Defendants.”
William Singer, the man accused of orchestrating the admissions bribery scheme, is among the 45 defendants listed in the suit, with the caveat that more defendants may be added as the investigation into the scandal continues to unfold.
The Toys are requesting a jury trial and ask the court for monetary, non-monetary & punitive damages, in the amount of no less than $500 billion. The Toys also ask for their attorney’s fees, costs and expenses to be covered.
However, Toy is not the only one filing lawsuits against those accused of being involved in the scandal.
Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, two Stanford students, filed a class action complaint on Wednesday against USC, Stanford, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest, Yale, and Georgetown for negligence and fraudulent behavior.
Their suit also names Singer, as well as the Key Worldwide Foundation and The Edge College and Career Network.
Olsen and Woods argue in their lawsuit that their degrees have been devalued by this scandal.
Olsen said in the suit that, when applying to Stanford, she had “stellar standardized test scores” as well as “athletic talent” and would later apply for the Stanford elite dancing squad. In 2017, Olsen also applied to Yale and her family paid an application fee of approximately $80.
Olsen alleges that, “at the time she applied, she was never informed that the process of admission was an unfair, rigged process, in which rich parents could buy their way into the university through bribery.”
Olsen went on to say that, had she known that the system at Yale was “warped and rigged by fraud”, she wouldn’t have applied to the school because she “did not receive what she paid for – a fair admission consideration process.”
Olsen also claimed that her degree at Stanford has been devalued because “prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”
Woods echoed Olsen’s remarks, claiming she also had “stellar test scores,” athletic skills and had passed all requirements for applying to college. Though Woods goes to Stanford, she also applied to USC for admission in 2017 and paid the $85 application fee, which she said she wouldn’t have done had she known about the “unfair” admissions process.
The class action suit says that it includes as plaintiffs any student who paid an admission application fee to one of the colleges listed as defendants between 2012 and 2018, and were ultimately rejected by said university.
The lawsuit ultimately explains the rationale behind the request for compensation, arguing, “Students do not have unlimited funds to pay for application fees. They must pick and choose which university or universities to apply to based upon their available funding, the cost of the application fee, and the likelihood that they will be accepted.
Each of these students had a right to know that their application was going to be part of a review process corrupted by rampant fraud and back-door bribery.”
The suit is asking the court for relief in the form of compensatory damages, including but not limited to the recoupment of admission application fees, reasonable attorney’s fees, as well as punitive damages “in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants and deter future similar conduct.”
For more on the continuing fallout surrounding Huffman and Loughlin regarding the high-profile scandal, including the subsequent criminal charges and professional ramifications, check out the video below.
— Additional reporting by Angelique Jackson and Kelly Agnes.