Felicity Huffman to plead guilty in college admissions scam | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Felicity Huffman to plead guilty in college admissions scam

Associated Press
1150046_web1_1150046-6a6c087e40894dc088eebd944a621800
AP
In this April 3, 2019 file photo, actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. On Monday, May 13, 2019, Huffman is expected to plead guilty to charges that she took part in the cheating scam.

BOSTON — Actress Felicity Huffman is scheduled to plead guilty Monday to allegations she paid $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme.

The “Desperate Housewives” star is expected to enter her plea in Boston federal court two months after she was arrested in the case named “Operation Varsity Blues,” which accused wealthy parents of paying bribes to help their children get into elite universities across the country.

Huffman, 56, is among 14 parents who have agreed to plead guilty to charges in the case. Authorities have called it the biggest college admissions cheating scandal ever prosecuted in the U.S., ensnaring Hollywood stars and business executives as well as coaches at such prestigious schools as Georgetown and Yale.

The parents are accused of paying an admissions consultant to bribe coaches in exchange for helping their children get into school as athletic recruits. The consultant, Rick Singer, also paid off entrance exam administrators to allow a proctor to take tests for students or fix their answers, authorities say.

Huffman paid Singer $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter’s SAT answers and considered going through with the plan for her younger daughter before deciding not to, authorities say.

Huffman has apologized and said her daughter was unaware of her actions.

“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,” the Emmy-winning actress said in an emailed statement last month.

Huffman has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors have said they will seek between four and 10 months in prison. Because Huffman agreed to plead guilty, prosecutors have promised to recommend a sentence at the low end of that range, but the judge could also choose not to send her to prison.

Some parents have decided to fight the charges.

Fellow actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits even though neither of them is a rower.

Also scheduled to plead guilty Monday is Los Angeles businessman Devin Sloane, who authorities say paid $250,000 to get his son into USC as a fake water polo recruit.

Sloane, who founded a drinking and wastewater systems company, bought water polo gear online and worked with a graphic designer to create a bogus photo of his son playing the sport for the teen’s application, officials say.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.