US actress Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Published: May 14, 2019, 08:54 IST | IANS

When Felicity Huffman appeared in court, prosecutors recommended a sentence of four months of prison time for her role in the college admissions scandal

US actress Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scandal
Felicity Huffman is escorted by Police into court where she is expected to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud before Judge Talwani at John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston. Pic/AFP

Washington: Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman has pleaded guilty to paying USD 15,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took the SATs for college admission. When she appeared in court in Boston on Monday, prosecutors recommended a sentence of four months prison time for the 56-year-old "Desperate Housewives" TV star for her role in the college admissions scandal, CNN reported.

They also suggested a USD 20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release for the charge, which is a felony. She is slated to be sentenced on September 13. The charity was associated with Rick Singer, who has confessed to helping wealthy parents cheat on standardised tests for their children.

Singer also bribed college coaches to falsely designate students as recruited athletes, smoothing their path to admission, a criminal complaint says. "I had no knowledge of Singer paying (others)," Huffman said on Monday before she broke down in tears. "Everything else (prosecutors) said I did, I did."

Huffman and Singer exchanged emails on how to provide her daughter with extra time to take the SAT exam, prosecutors said, and arranged for the girl to take the test in a location controlled by an administrator whom Singer had bribed.

Huffman's daughter received an SAT score of 1420 out of a possible 1600 -- about 400 points higher than her Preliminary SAT exam a year earlier. The actress agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in April. She was among 13 parents who have said they would plead guilty in the scam, reports CNN.

Seventeen other parents, including Full House actress Lori Loughlin, submitted not guilty pleas. Singer pleaded guilty in March to racketeering, money laundering; conspiracy to defraud the US, and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19.

Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, is not charged in the case.

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