How prosecutors say Niki Williams is involved in college admissions scandal

By Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

HOUSTON - It's a scandal that's making headlines across the nation. Dozens have been indicted in an elaborate scheme to secure admission for students to prestigious universities.

Hollywood big shots, coaches and parents are now facing serious charges in connection to the scheme.

Two Houstonians are involved: Niki Williams and Martin Fox.

Channel 2 Investigates is digging deeper into their alleged roles in the scam.

The trail of allegations against Williams is listed in the more than 200-page federal indictment.

READ: List of those involved in college admissions and testing bribery scheme

Williams allegedly pocketed thousands in bribes from parents all across the country to help their children get a better score on the ACT and SAT.

She was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering and was released on a $20,000 bond.

Williams was seen leaving the federal courthouse in Houston on Tuesday.

College admittance test scores and athletics are the center of the scandal. Unsealed court documents indicate William Rick Singer is the self-acknowledged mastermind of the con.

The allegations show that parents would pay Singer to secure their children places in elite schools like Stanford, Yale and the University of Texas.

Singer collected as much as $25 million from as many as 800 families, according to authorities.

Investigators said Singer's list includes corporate CEOs, money managers, lawyers and actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Federal agents said more arrests are possible as "Operation Varsity Blues" continues.

For her part, Williams -- an assistant teacher at a public school in Houston and ACT administrator -- is accused of accepting bribes.

The indictment details an elaborate plan in which one of Singer's employees flew from Tampa to Houston to forge a test for a student in a hotel room. Using a handwriting sample, the indictment says Williams "was willing to do it" and allegedly delivered and picked up the exam.

READ the full indictment here

Even if she didn't know all of the details of the national cheating scam, KPRC2 legal analyst Brian Wice said any involvement can be incriminating.

"The problem with a conspiracy is you don't even have to know what your co-conspirators are doing to help share in the crime and help share in the time," Wice said. "It wouldn’t surprise me if she ultimately cut a deal and testified against people higher up in the food chain."

VIDEO: Federal investigators discuss Williams' connection to cheating scandal

HISD issued the following statement on the situation:

"We are aware that a staff member has been implicated. The Houston Independent School District does not condone any form of academic dishonesty.

"We will cooperate with authorities and we will look into this matter to determine if any of our students have been affected in any way."

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