Felicity Huffman Weeps as She Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Scandal


She is married to William H. Macy, 69, star of the television show "Shameless" and numerous Hollywood films including Fargo. 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.

On Monday, she appeared at a court in Boston, where she formally entered her plea for a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Then, 12 other parents also said they would plead guilty in connection with the scandal.

Full House actress Lori Loughlin was also indicted in the federal investigation, but federal agents were unable to arrest her, as she was shooting a project in Vancouver. Wealthy parents paid $25 million to bribe coaches to help their children gain spots at universities like Yale, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. Authorities have called it the biggest college admissions cheating scandal ever prosecuted in the US, ensnaring Hollywood stars and business executives as well as coaches at such prestigious schools as Georgetown and Yale. Because Sloane paid far more than Huffman to participate in Singer's scheme, prosecutors have recommended he spend a year in prison and pay a $75,000 fine.

The "Desperate Housewives" star was accused of paying $15,000 to increase her oldest daughter's SAT scores.

The girl scored 400 points higher than when she took the preliminary SAT a year earlier, prosecutors said.

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Huffman later discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with Singer, the complaint says. Yesterday they recommended a jail sentence of four months. The legendary lifestyle guru, of course, had her own legal drama in the past, when she served a five-month sentence in a federal corrections facility from 2004 to 2005 after being convicted of multiple felony charges.

"I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community", Huffman previously said in her statement. Both Huffman and Macy agreed to the plan, authorities say, but Macy has not been charged.

Some parents and coaches who have agreed to plead guilty are co-operating with prosecutors against current or future co-defendants, but Huffman is not known to be among them.

Riddell has pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy; he will be sentenced in July.

Parents still fighting the charges include fellow actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli.