Netflix’s college admissions scandal documentary debuts first trailer

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Netflix is giving subscribers an inside look at the college admissions scandal.

In 2019, the nation was rocked by a scandal involving wealthy parents — including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin — allegedly paying bribes to secure their children’s admission to elite universities across America. 

The scandal and investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, is set to be examined in Netflix’s upcoming documentary, “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal,” which dropped its first trailer on Monday.

The documentary will contain dramatic recreations of conversations that scandal ringleader Rick Singer had with clients as well as with the FBI, according to the streaming giant. 

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Emmy-nominee Matthew Modine will star as Singer. Modine is the only cast member currently listed on Netflix so it is unclear as to whether anyone will play Loughlin or Huffman, though both make appearances in clips of news coverage, as does Loughlin’s husband, Mossimo Giannulli.

“These are real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps,” the trailer reveals as Modine’s Singer explains his plot, ensuring college admissions for various students via “side doors.”

The trailer also recounts several of the fishy school applications involved in the scandal, including a “five-foot-five men’s basketball player [and] a high school cheerleader who is made to look like a lacrosse player.”

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“In America, we love the wealthy and we hate the wealthy,” a commentator says. “They disgust us and they fascinate us.”

Also included in the dramatized clips was the arrest of Singer — who claims in the trailer that he planned to scam over 700 people into college — and FBI raids of other properties.

Netflix's 'Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal' will begin streaming on March 17. (Netflix ©2021)

Netflix’s ‘Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal’ will begin streaming on March 17. (Netflix ©2021)

The documentary is directed by Chris Smith, who is behind Netflix’s “Fyre,” which examined the messy Fyre Festival debacle in 2019. Smith also served as an executive producer on “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

Since the scandal went public, Huffman, 58, pleaded guilty in May 2019 to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter’s answers on the SAT exam. 

She served 11 days in a California prison. Huffman also received one year of probation, was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $30,000 fine.

In August 2020, Loughlin, 56, and Giannulli, 57, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from $500,000 payments to Singer to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, recruited onto the University of Southern California’s crew team. The two had never participated in the sport.

Loughlin, 56, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., on Dec. 28 after completing her two-month sentence. 

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In her plea agreement, Loughlin agreed to serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. 

Giannulli was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service in addition to a five-month prison sentence. He is slated to be released from prison on April 17. 

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For Singer’s part, he pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering, money laundering and fraud, as well as agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation. Singer has not received a sentence yet.

“Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal” begins streaming on Netflix on March 17.

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report

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