Felicity Huffman Pleads Guilty In College Bribery Scandal
Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty for her involvement in the “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal in a Boston federal court Monday afternoon.
The “Desperate Housewives” star was accused of paying $15,000 to increase her oldest daughter’s SAT scores.
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani asked Huffman if she was pleading guilty without any threats or pressure.
“Yes your honor,” Huffman said, according to a tweet from 7 News Boston reporter Jonathan Hall Monday.
Huffman says she has not been threatened or pressured…nor has anyone offered her anything.
Judge Talwani: “Are you pleading guilty of your own free will?”
Huffman: “Yes your honor.”
— Jonathan Hall (@JHall7news) May 13, 2019
Huffman agreed to plead guilty for “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud” in April.
In a statement, Felicity Huffman says she’s pleading guilty.
“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.”pic.twitter.com/T6tx1VUiCE
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) April 8, 2019
“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,” Huffman said in an April statement.
Huffman’s daughter received a 1420 on the SAT. This was 400 points higher than her Preliminary SAT scores.
Prosecutors are looking into a four to 10-month prison sentence for Huffman, though she could receive a term on the lower end because of her guilty plea, according to The Associated Press.
The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years of prison, FindLaw reported.
Huffman’s daughter was reportedly unaware of her mother’s involvement in the scheme.
The 56-year-old’s guilty plea makes her the highest-profiled person, so far, to admit to the allegations, the AP reported.
Federal officials accused William Rick Singer of cheating the college entrance system to help parents get their children into elite colleges. He allegedly ran and used his purported charity Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) in California to facilitate the bribes. Authorities charged at least 50 people in the case.
The scam reportedly involved cheating on the SAT and ACT college entry exams and bribing college athletic coaches. (RELATED: Lori Loughlin And Felicity Huffman Headed To Court Over Alleged Admission Bribery)
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, the other high-profile person in the case, along with fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, are fighting their accusations. They were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits. Neither of the daughters rowed, however.
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