Fuller House's Lori Loughlin was arraigned Wednesday in a Los Angeles federal court for her alleged role in a college bribery con, and then subsequently released on $1 million bail. Desperate HousewivesFelicity Huffman (wife of William H. Macy) was indicted as part of the same con but separately from Loughlin. Huffman was released on a $250,000 bond on Tuesday for her March 29 court date in Boston. The charges include mail fraud, honest services mail fraud (28 words in US Criminal Code that have confused a hell of a lot of people – basically, this is defrauding another out of "honest services" whatever that may actually mean), obstruction of justice and racketeering.

Loughlin and Huffman were named along with 48 others (only 33 others were charged) in a scheme centering around a certain William Rick Singer (see his reality show audition here). According to US attorneys, Singer "created a fake non-profit, charitable foundation which served as a front to launder the payments from parents." Most ended up dishing out $200,000 to $400,000 to Singer, with a few as high as $6.5 million – all intended to bribe college officials (usually an SAT or ACT administrator or an athletic coach) to guarantee their kids admittance into schools as prestigious as Stanford, Yale and Georgetown.   

The feds say that if the money went to an athletic coach, the coach would create a fake athletic profile for the student. If the funds went to an ACT or SAT administrator, the student's test answers would be corrected or a proctor would just take the test for the student.

The FBI says they have a tape where Huffman and Loughlin can be heard discussing the scheme with Singer who was cooperating with authorities. The operation was dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues."

Loughlin allegedly paid $500,000 to have her two daughters designated "recruits" for the crew team at University of Southern California, despite the fact that neither daughter was involved in that capacity. According to the feds, Loughlin's husband – founder of Mossimo Clothing, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli – even sent action shots of their daughters on rowing machines to the school.

The feds are alleging an altogether different route for Felicity Huffman. They say she and husband William H. Macy made a charitable contribution of $15,000 to get in on a test cheating scheme for their eldest daughter. She was allegedly given twice the amount of time as other students to take the test and the proctor agreed to covertly correct her work after. Macy, however, was not indicted as there is no evidence he did anything beyond chat about it – that is, he was not involved in the plan's execution.

Even celebrated scribe and playwright David Mamet (Glengarry Glenn Ross) has weighed in on this. Mamet issued this open letter which we have reprinted in full here as a defense of his friends Huffman and Macy:

"I worked for very many years in and around our Elite Universities. I am able to report that their admissions policies are an unfortunate and corrupt joke.

Harvard was once sued for restricting the admission of qualified Jews; a contest currently being waged by Asians.

The unqualified may be accepted for many reasons, among them, as Legacies, and on account of large donations made by their parents. I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else. But, apparently, the second is against the Law. So be it.

I've known and worked with Bill Macy for nearly fifty years. We started two theatre companies together, one of which, THE ATLANTIC is still in operation in New York, after 35 years. I've known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays.

I'm crazy about them both.

That a parent's zeal for her children's future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.

If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: 'Not Guilty, but Don't do it Again.'

David Mamet"

This is a developing story. Stay with The 405 for more as we hear it.