Actress Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in the college admissions scandal
Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in a Boston courtroom on Monday to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud stemming from her involvement in the college admissions scandal, federal prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Huffman agreed to pay $15,000 — disguised as a tax-deductible charitable contribution — to a foundation operated by admissions consultant William Singer, who in turn arranged for a proctor to correct her daughter’s SAT exam.
Huffman, the 56-year-old “Desperate Housewives” star, is one of 33 parents, including prominent Hollywood figures and business people, facing charges for their alleged role in the scandal. The racketeering conspiracy case includes the parents of applicants, ACT and SAT administrators, a test proctor and coaches at universities including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas at Austin.
Several parents have already pleaded guilty, including Gordon Caplan and Bruce and Davina Isackson. Huffman is the latest high-profile parent to admit her role in the largest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted.
In an earlier court appearance, Huffman said she regretted her role in the scandal and admitted to wrongdoing. In a statement she read to the court, Huffman claimed her daughter did not know that her mother had paid to have the answers on her SAT exam corrected after taking the test.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” the statement said. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
During the hearing on Monday, prosecutors said they would recommend four months in prison for Huffman. Her sentencing hearing was scheduled for Sept. 13.
On Monday, CBS News reported that a high school guidance counselor raised questions about the sports credentials of some of the students admitted into USC. Prosecutors said the guidance counselor also raised red flags about the applications for actress Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannuli’s daughters, who were admitted to USC as crew recruits.