By now, you’ve heard about the wealthy parents bribing people in positions of power in order to get their children accepted into prestigious universities. The list of those accused includes actresses, businessmen, lawyers, physicians, and other “high society types.” According to a report from the New York Times, these parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars — sometimes millions — to hire the services of a man who “guaranteed” he could get his clients’ kids into the school of their choice.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” said Andrew Lelling, a U.S. Attorney involved with the case, which according to the Associated Press, is code-named “Operation Varsity Blues.”

But exactly how did the scheme work? In simple terms, parents paid enormous sums of money to William Singer, who then passed the money to certain collegiate athletic coaches and test administrators. Singer allegedly used his business, Edge College & Career Network, known simply as “The Key,” and its sister nonprofit organization “Key Worldwide Foundation,” to dispense the bribes. Depending on the student, the amount of money paid, and the wishes of the parents, Singer would essentially buy the student a spot on a collegiate sports team or buy the student a higher score on standardized tests.

William “Rick” Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice on March 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

On the athletic side, Singer worked with a handful of coaches who would, in exchange for the bribe, create a fake athletic record for the student and then offer them a spot on the college’s sports team. For parents looking to boost the scores of a student’s ACT or SAT test, Singer arranged for students to get bogus medical excuses allowing for extra test-taking time, or he would get an adult to take the exam for the student. According to the New York Times, federal law enforcement officials also claim Singer arranged for the demographic information of certain students to be changed in order to “take advantage of affirmative action.”