Felicity Huffman, In Tears, Pleads Guilty In College Bribery Scandal
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on May 14, 2019
Actress Felicity Huffman, known for her role in Desperate Housewives, broke down in tears in federal court in Boston today, as she pleaded guilty to a scheme to boost her daughter’s SAT scores.
Huffman is one of dozens charged in a sweeping conspiracy and bribery case involving wealthy parents, corrupt college coaches, test proctors and college consultants.
Huffman looked straight ahead, ignoring the phalanx of reporters and cameras as she entered the courthouse to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Inside, she cried as she explained to the judge that her daughter knew nothing about the scam to inflate her test scores, and that her daughter’s accommodation for extra time on tests was legitimate.
That includes paying $15,000 to have someone correct her daughter’s wrong answers, after her daughter completed the test. The person making the corrections has also pleaded guilty, while the exam proctor who allegedly allowed it to happen, has pleaded not guilty.
Huffman is hoping her guilty plea, and her unequivocal apology, will earn her some leniency at sentencing. In a statement released last month, she accepted “full responsibility for [her] actions” and expressed “deep regret and shame.” She added, “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.”
Prosecutors are recommending $20,000 in fines and a four-month prison sentence. Huffman could end up serving even less, and possibly at a half-way house. Prosecutors have amassed a heap of financial records and have recorded phone calls between the parents and with the scheme mastermind, William “Rick” Singer.