Actress Felicity Huffman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
The 56-year-old actress appeared in court on Monday to enter her plea to the single charge, the Huffington Post reports. Prosecutors are seeking a four-month prison sentence for Huffman, in addition to a $20,000 fine and 12 months of probation, according to a reporter with WHDH, an independent news station out of Boston, Massachusetts.
Huffman stands accused of participating in a multi-level college admissions bribery scheme by paying $15,000 to arrange for her daughter’s SAT scores to be altered, according to an affidavit. Prosecutors allege that she then considered going through similar motions on behalf of her younger daughter, but in the end, did not.
Authorities say dozens of wealthy parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a man named Rick Singer, the owner of a college preparatory business, who would then better their children’s chances of getting into a top-rated university. Singer is alleged to have routinely used dishonest methods, like altering test scores or creating fake student athlete profiles, to help secure admission on behalf of the children of his wealthy clients.
Huffman, along with actress Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are among 50 people prosecutors have charged in the scheme. Huffman is one of 13 parents who have agreed to plead guilty for participating in the scheme, while Loughlin and Giannulli — who allegedly shelled out $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California — are among the 17 who will be entering not guilty pleas, CNN reports.
Prosecutors first announced last month that Huffman and others would be pleading guilty, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement released shortly afterward, the “Desperate Housewives” actress expressed remorse for “betraying” her daughter, who she said had no knowledge of the plot.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” she said.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” she continued. “I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”
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