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“Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty Monday to paying $15,000 to have someone correct her daughter’s SAT test answers.
Huffman, who pleaded guilty to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, entered court holding hands with her brother. She maintains that her daughter had no idea her parents had paid to fudge her test scores. Prosecutors are reportedly recommending that Huffman serve four months in prison and pay a $20,000 fine.
Along with “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, Huffman is among the two most high-profile people charged in connection to a widespread college admissions scandal at elite American universities. An FBI sting known as “Operation Varsity Blues" identified and charged 50 people, mostly wealthy parents, for bribing or cheating their children’s way into several Ivy League universities, including Yale.
Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, also played a role in altering his daughter’s test scores but has mysteriously not been charged.
In a phone conversation recorded by investigators, Huffman and Macy made plans with consultants at a fraudulent charity to falsify their daughters’ SAT scores, though they never carried out the plans for the younger daughter.
Huffman is one of 14 parents who have agreed to plead guilty, while 19 others have decided to fight the charges. Prosecutors upped the ante for some parents who refused to plead guilty by adding new federal charges after they decided against plea deals.
In a letter in April, Huffman announced her plans to plead guilty and apologized. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done,” she wrote.
Unlike Huffman, Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to the same charges as well as money laundering. The couple allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as fake rowing athletic recruits and are scheduled to appear in court again June 3.
Cover image: Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court Monday, May 13, 2019, in Boston, where she is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)