Wealthy New Yorkers charged in college admissions case

Some wealthy and powerful New Yorkers are ensnared in the college admissions scandal.

Gordon Kaplan, the New York-based co-chair of global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, has been placed on leave after he was indicted on bank and wire fraud conspiracy charges.

Kaplan Manhattan resident Gregory Abbott, the CEO of a food and beverage packing company, allegedly paid California-based admissions consultant Rick Singer tens of thousands of dollars to rig their children's SAT results.

Dan Lee, an admissions consultant in New York, said the allegations were shocking.

"It really makes no sense to me, to be honest with you," Lee said. "Which is why this is such an extreme case because those parents, they have many different options for getting their child in."

Lee said that ranges from test prep and tutors to a large donation to your kid's school of choice.

"At most universities, it's either an endowed professorship or greater in terms of the amount," he said. "It can usually range anywhere from $4 to $5 million or more."

But author Christopher Farley said those practices expose the true unfairness in elite college admissions.

"People that go to these schools who are people of color often know the real deal, and they know the people who really should be looked at," he said. "And the real scandal is often people who are rich and powerful and have a legacy of giving money to schools."

In his new novel, "Around Harvard Square," Farley writes about a scandal strikingly similar to how Singer helped parents and coaches allegedly exploit athletic programs of schools like Yale, Georgetown, and USC.

"One thing that one character does is he manages to fake some pictures in order to enhance his resume and his application and to get into Harvard," Farley said.

Yet while Tuesday's indictments put the blame on parents, not the students, Lee said the real culprit is the system.

"A lot of the students who are disadvantaged in the process are students from lower socio-economic means," Lee said. "And if you took that into account in the admissions process, that would level things quite a bit more."

Former "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin turned herself in to authorities in Los Angeles Wednesday. She and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California.