Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin released on $1.5 million bail over US college bribery case

The FBI says actress Lori Loughlin has been taken into custody in connection with nationwide college bribery scheme.

The Judge says Full House actress Lori Loughlin can be released after posting $US1 million ($NZ1.5 million) bond in the college bribery case.

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with nearly 50 other people yesterday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centres to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said.

"These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the $NZ36 million federal bribery case.

He called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the US Justice Department.

At least nine athletic coaches and dozens of parents were among those charged. A total of 46 people were arrested by midday, including Huffman and Loughlin, in an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, federal authorities said.

Prosecutors said parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes, to alter test scores and to have others take online classes to boost their children's chances of getting into schools.

Parents spent anywhere from $NZ291,000 to $NZ9.4 million to guarantee their children's admission, officials said.

"For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected," Lelling said.

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    Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are accused of paying backhanders to get their kids into elite universities. Source: 1 NEWS