tv CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor CBS March 12, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> glor: on the "cbs evening news" this tuesday, the biggest college entrance scheme ever prosecuted. hollywood actresses, prominent business leaders and coaches are accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes. >> "operation varsity blues," the bus stop of this college admissions scheme. >> tv stars lori loughlin and felicity huffman among the dozens charged. >> there can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy and there will not be a separate criminal justice system, either. >> crash site investigators combed this area searching for answers. >> more countries around the world are banning boeing's new jet from their airspace. >> pressure in congress also building to ground the plane domestically. >> these planes are accidents waiting to happen. >> reporter: the a.t.f. has launched a multi-state search after guns were stolen from
their facility. >> this is an issue. >> wells fargo c.e.o. tim sloan grilled by the financial services committee. >> i'm shocked that you're not in an orange suit and a little jail cell testifying today. >> glor: and... >> they gave me a 40% chance of survival. >> glor: this marine's toughest battle came before boot camp. >> glor: good evening. i'm jeff glor. and this is our western edition. we're going to begin tonight with "operation varsity blues," an investigation into the biggest college cheating scam ever prosecuted. actresses lori loughlin and felicity huffman are among the 50 people now charged in the scandal. investigators says that wealthy parents paid the accused ringleader $25 million to get their children into top colleges. the alleged scheme involved bribes, cheating on entrance exams, and bogus athletic profiles. authorities say the colleges and most of the students who benefited were not involved but plenty of others were. here's chip reid.
>> this is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense, to cheat the system. >> reporter: federal authorities were blunt as they announced the justice department's largest college admission prosecution ever. >> these parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. >> reporter: court documents say the scheme was in operation for nearly a decade and involved at least 33 wealthy parents paying a total of $25 million to get their kids into some of the country's most elite schools, including georgetown, stanford, and yale, through falsified test scores or pretending to be student athlete recruits. the mastermind is william singer of newport beach, california, who pled guilty today to crimes including conspiracy and racketeering and became a cooperating witness, turning in clients, including actress felicity huffman of "desperate housewives" and lori loughlin of the netflix show "fuller house." huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to singer to boost her daughter's s.a.t. score.
>> numerous parents paid singer between $15,000 and $75,000 to have someone either take the exam for their child or to correct their child's answers afterward, all to achieve a sufficiently high, pre-agreed score on those tests. >> reporter: the most elaborate part of the scheme involved bribing at least nine college coaches, including georgetown university's former tennis coach to use recruitment slots for kids who had no intention of playing college sports. some even photoshopped their children on to real athletes. >> in return for bribes, these coaches agreed to pretend that certain applicants were recruited competitive athletes, when, in fact, the applicants were not, as the coaches knew, the students' athletic credentials had been fabricated. >> reporter: that's the fraud prosecutors say laughlin participated in. the actress allegedly paid half a million dollars in bribes to get her daughters into u.s.c. as members of the crew team, even though they didn't row.
when singer e-mailed laughlin that her daughter got in, she responded, "this is wonderful news." singer replied, "please continue to keep this hush-hush until march." laughlin says, "yes, of course." >> reporter: laughlin's daughter olivia jade had to apologize after saying this: >> but i do want the experience of like game days, partying-- i don't really care about school. >> reporter: do you think some of the these parents could actually end up behind bars? >> i do think it is possible. >> reporter: cbs news legal analyst rikki klieman: >> it is one thing to use your money to try to get your child into a better college, which is a crime, but it's quite another thing to be able to buy your way out of jail with the same money. that's not going to happen here. >> reporter: the former tennis coach here at georgetown university allegedly received $2.7 million for slots for 12 students.
now, neither the schools nor the students have been charged in this case, but one big question now is whether those students will be allowed to remain in their schools. jeff. >> glor: an amazing and maddening story. chip reid, thank you very much. right now, thousands of americans are flying in a plane that has been grounded in most of the world. dozens of airlines in countries have halted flights of boeing 737 max jets after sunday's crash that killed 157 people in ethiopia. that crash, following a similar one in indonesia last october, has many demanding flights be suspended. and today, the president got involved. we are in ethiopia, but first, here's kris van cleave. >> reporter: the federal aviation administration is increasingly standing alone, allowing the boeing 737 max to stay in the skies, at least for now. almost by the hour, the list of countries grounding the airliner grew, including all of the european union, as safety concerns mount. nearly 250 of the roughly 370
737 max planes in service around the world have been pulled from use. that's prompted calls for action from lawmakers. >> i'm advising members of my own family and friends they ought to change planes, change flights, change airlines-- whatever they need to do-- to avoid flying on these 737 max 8s. >> it makes sense to ground aircraft that's been involved in two very tragic accidents in only six months. >> reporter: president trump, who could order the f.a.a. to ground the planes, phoned he assured the president the planes were safe. mr. trump also tweeted "flying has become too complicated, complexity creates danger," he wrote. while u.s. airlines continue to believe the 737 max is safe. two unions representing flight attendants urged they be grounded. >> this is definitely through an abundance of caution for our flight attendants and for our passengers. >> reporter: tens of thousands of americans fly the 737 max every day. 72 of the jets are used by u.s. airlines.
in dallas, barbara king had just flown on one. >> i want to get a different flight to fly back home on. >> reporter: federal regulators insist they lack enough information to order southwest, united, and american to ground their max planes and are waiting for a preliminary readout from the ethiopian flight's black boxes. that plane crashed shortly after takeoff sunday killing all 157 on board, under conditions eerily similar to a lion plane that crashed off the coast of indonesia in october killing 189. transportation secretary elaine chao: >> if an issue that affects safety is identified, the department and the f.a.a. will not hesitate to take immediate and appropriate action. >> glor: chris i have to follow up on that, countries, flight attendants, lawmakers, all saying these planes should be grounded. why is the u.s. at this point so reluctant to do so? >> reporter: well, the f.a.a.
said late today they still have no evidence of a systemic issue with the 737 max, so they don't have a basis to order the grounding of the aircraft. of course, they're still waiting for an update on what happened in this ethiopia crash. so that could change. and the agency is feeling the mounting pressure from lawmakers and other politicians who are pushing the agency to ground the planes. jeff. >> glor: the question, also, what's the basis to keep them in the air. all right, kris van cleave, thanks very much. eight of the dead were american, including two brothers and a u.s. service member on vacation. debora patta visited the crash site today near the ethiopian capital. it's a scene of devastation. >> reporter: unrestrained grief as the mother of one of the flight attendants on board breaks down at the crash site. it couldn't be more miserable here. the smell of death is overpowering, and bits of mangled wreckage like this are everywhere. at the site, local investigators
were joined by a team of american aviation experts who are searching for answers. passengers were from 35 countries, including eight americans. >> we're proud. >> reporter: in the u.s., another mother grieves. her son antoine lewis, an american service man was heading to kenya on vacation. >> i will say that plane went down with him doing what he wanted to do most. as a mother, you just... you-- you just say he loved-- he did what he loved to do. >> reporter: brothers mel and bennett riffel, from redding, california, were on one last adventure before mel's wife was due to have their baby in may. >> he's the most loving, most joyful, most positive person i have ever had the pleasure of knowing. there's nothing that we won't miss about him. >> reporter: at the crash site, a man's dress shirt, a scribble to-do list, and a tiny purple
fairy dress. the lives of the victims revealed in the trail of heartbreak formed by the personal belongings scattered amongst the twisted metal. debora patta, cbs news, addis ababa, ethiopia. >> glor: a heated debate has broken out among democrats in congress one day after house speaker nancy pelosi all but ruled out pursuing impeachment of the president. nancy cordes has been speaking to all sides. >> do i agree with her? yes, i do. >> reporter: democratic leaders fell in line with speaker pelosi today... >> he's not worth it. >> reporter: one day after she said this: >> i just don't believe in it. they wanted me to impeach president bush for the iraq war. i didn't believe in it then. i don't believe in it now. it divides the country. >> reporter: but not everyone got the memo. >> reporter: some progressives argue the president's hush money payments daniels meet the definition of
"high crimes and misdemeanors." so you want to keep the option of impeachment on the table? >> it's always an option for any president, any administration, and we're going to do our investigation. >> reporter: president trump has always brushed off the notion. >> i think it's very hard to impeach somebody who has done a great job. >> and today republicans played up the split between pelosi and some of her members. >> i think she's dealing with reality, which is she's not in control of her caucus. >> reporter: even pelosi's counter-part wants to keep his options open. >> we have to see the mueller report says before any conclusions. >> reporter: moderate democrats worry that too much talk of impeachment won't sit well in their swing districts. plus, they note, that without republican buy-in-- and there isn't any right now-- any impeachment vote is doomed to fail in the senate. jeff. >> glor: nancy cordes thanks very much. lumber liquidators today agreed to pay a penalty for misleading investors about its chinese-made laminate flooring.
as "60 minutes" reported in 2015, it contained high levels of chemicals that cause cancers. the company has already agreed to pay $36 million in fines to customers. the c.e.o. of wells fargo told congress today the nation's fourth largest bank has cleaned up its act after years of scandals affecting millions of customers. but anna werner reports many lawmakers were not buying it. >> do you realize how serious this scenario is? >> reporter: wells fargo c.e.o. tim sloan faced a grilling from legislators during the hearing. >> let me be blunt-- you're here today because wells fargo mistreated and defrauded its customers. >> reporter: sloan has tried to repair the damage in the wake of numerous scandals, like accounts opened for consumers who didn't ask for them. auto customers were forced to buy insurance they didn't need, and homeowners who should have gotten loan modifications but t, lt r homes, all of it costing the bank some $4 billion in consumer settlements and fines.
>> when i stepped into this role, i promised that accountability and transparency would define our efforts, and they have. >> reporter: but at that hearing, a wells fargo mortgage division employee, meggan halvorson from minneapolis, minnesota: >> i have to say that i don't agree. the culture there is pretty toxic. and pretty stressful. >> reporter: she and other workers joined the committee for better banks, a workers' rights group, to push leaders like sloan to listen to their employees' concerns. >> they think that a lot of employees still feel that high pressure in order to push through transactions. and i can also say, that just in general, employee moral is really low. >> reporter: wells fargo c.e.o. tim sloan isn't done with his capitol hill grilling. he'll be back in a couple of weeks' time, but next time with the other big bank c.e.o.s sitting right next to him. >> glor: so concerning to so many customers. anna, thank you. up here next on the cbs evening
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where they were supposed to be destroyed. the agency has notified the justice department inspector general, and it has begun an internal investigation. >> they need to remedy this right away. >> reporter: mark morgan, a retired assistant director of the f.b.i., says investigators need to jump on this fast. >> that should be extremely alarming, whether it was a single weapon or 100 weapons. that's definitely an issue with their process, and it's got to be looked at, and it's got to be fixed. >> reporter: officials have told cbs news that among the thousands of stolen firearms and firearm parts were even gun parts that at one time belonged to a.t.f. agents. jeff. >> glor: jeff pegues, thank you very much. coming up here tonight, the parents of one of r. kelly's live-in girlfriends say thei daughter is in a monstrous situation. if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, little things can be a big deal.
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kelly's live-in girlfriends sat angelo and alice clary said they haven't seen their daughter since she moved in with the singer three years ago when she was 17. >> reporter: would you say you convinced him to allow her to go on tour with him? >> correct. during the summertime-- this was april-- during the summer she was flying out to different concerts because he was like, "let her see behind the scenes, this sort of thing. "let her try and see what it's like." >> reporter: she never went alone when we went back and forth. >> she went a few times by herself, because we trusted her. and we met people from the camp, especially a lot of females he had working for him. they also entrusted: "oh, she's in good hands." everything about her music. everything is good. >> "it's about her music, everything is good." we entrusted our daughter with him because there were a lot of women. >> reporter: a lot of women on r. kelly's team assured you, "she's okay. we're taking good care of her." >> right. >> glor: kelly is charged with sexually abusing four women.youu
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7:00. r: not everyone makes it through marine boot camp, but for one recruit, it was just the latest obstacle. david martin explains. >> he's right there! >> reporter: michael campofiori going through one of this country's great rites of passage: marine boot camp at parris island. the final test is called the "crucible"-- 54 hours on very little food or sleep, ending with a nine-mile hike carrying a 60-pound pack. >> the hike bag is really where it hit me. i did want to quit, to be honest. >> reporter: but he didn't. and his drill instructor presented him the emblem of the marine corps. what did you say to him? >> i told him that this was the second hardest thing that he's done his entire life. >> i was diagnosed with leukemia, cancer, to be exact. >> reporter: diagnosed at the age of 11 and put through five years of chemotherapy. >> they gave me, like, a 40% chance of survival.
>> reporter: how bad were the eects from the chemo? >> they actually described my bones as like swiss cheese because i could easily break a bone. >> reporter: his parents, maria and robert, were powerless. >> that's all we could do is watch and just be there for him. >> reporter: he's been cancer free for nine years. you got your son back. >> i got my son back. >> reporter: but then he tells you he wants to go in the military. >> i wasn't happy with it. i-- we fought so hard, the battle, and won. and now he wanted to fight a new battle. >> reporter: did you think in the back of your head, let him try because nobody's going to take him with that health history? >> he was determined. he really was. >> reporter: so then you get a phone call, "i got accepted into the marines." >> he was ecstatic, screaming on the phone, "i did it! i did it." as soon as that phone call ended, i cried, because i can't bear to lose him again. i can't. >> reporter: parris island is a
shock to every recruit. >> it started getting to me. i was doubting myself a little bit. >> reporter: so he told his drill instructor, staff sergeant roy covington, about his battle against cancer. >> when he told me initially i was shocked. >> reporter: what exactly shocked you about it? >> just the mental and moral courage that it takes to be a cancer survivor and then still decide he wants to serve in a branch such as the marine corps. >> reporter: michael campofiori is now a private in the united states marine corps, one of 20,000 who make it through parris island every year. it's a special moment for every family, but for the campofioris, well, just watch. david martin, cbs news, parris island, south carolina. >> glor: the best, the best. that was the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm jeff glor. we'll see you tomorrow. have a great night. hard not to watching this guy.
more than a dozen bay area parents indicted in a sweeping college admission scheme, a look at how far parents were allegedly willing to go to land their kids a spot at a top college. >> i'm extremely concerned about what i've heard with these allegations and this just hit me in the gut. >> plus a bay area special ed teacher arrested for running a fight club in his classroom. >> and what's happening in the next few months that could create hundreds of instant millionaires in the bay area. kpix5 news at 7:00 starts right now. good evening. i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm ken bastida. we begin with this college admissions scandal that everyone is talking about. kpix5's susie steimle reports the unprecedented federal case has ensnared about 15