Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Actress Felicity Huffman on Monday pleaded guilty to accusations that she paid $15,000 to fraudulently boost her daughter’s SAT score as part of a nationwide college admissions scam.

The “Desperate Housewives” actress pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. 

Huffman, 56, is one of 14 parents who agreed to plead guilty to allegations stemming from a far-reaching federal investigation, known as Operation Varsity Blues, that has led to the arrests of dozens of wealthy parents, coaches and college officials.

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Felicity Huffman arrives in court for plea
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Actress 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, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress 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, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress 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, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress 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, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Felicity Huffman is escorted 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, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court Monday, May 13, 2019, in Boston, where she is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court Monday, May 13, 2019, in Boston, where she is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Prosecutors say Huffman paid Rick Singer, the high-profile college admissions consultant who orchestrated the scheme, to hire a proctor to correct her elder daughter’s answers on her college entrance exam. Huffman allegedly considered doing the same for her younger daughter, but ultimately decided against it.

Singer met with Huffman and her husband, 69-year-old actor William H. Macy, in their Los Angeles home in 2017 to explain his SAT exam scheme, investigators said. Both Huffman and Macy allegedly agreed to the plan. Prosecutors have not said why Macy wasn’t charged.

Huffman apologized for her role in the scheme last month and said she’s ready to accept the consequences of her actions. She said her daughter “knew absolutely nothing” about it. 

“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” Huffman wrote. “I want to apologize to them and, especially, 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.”

Huffman faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, but prosecutors have recommended she serve four months behind bars and pay a $20,000 penalty.

Lori Loughlin, the actress best known for playing Aunt Becky in “Full House,” and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were also charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in March as part of the college admissions scheme.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges last month. Days earlier, a federal grand jury in Boston indicted Loughlin, Giannulli and 14 other parents with additional charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection to the case.

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Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin arrive at Boston courthouse
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Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin arrive at Boston courthouse
Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, wearing green tie at left, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston Wednesday for the first time since they were charged last month in a massive college admissions cheating scandal. They were among 50 people - including coaches, powerful financiers, and entrepreneurs - charged in a brazen plot in which wealthy parents allegedly schemed to bribe sports coaches at top colleges to admit their children. Many of the parents allegedly paid to have someone else take the SAT or ACT exams for their children or correct their answers, guaranteeing them high scores. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Actress Lori Loughlin, in tan at center, leaves as her husband Mossimo Giannulli, in green tie at right, follows behind her outside the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston Wednesday for the first time since they were charged last month in a massive college admissions cheating scandal. They were among 50 people - including coaches, powerful financiers, and entrepreneurs - charged in a brazen plot in which wealthy parents allegedly schemed to bribe sports coaches at top colleges to admit their children. Many of the parents allegedly paid to have someone else take the SAT or ACT exams for their children or correct their answers, guaranteeing them high scores. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Actress Lori Loughlin, front, and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, rear, depart federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Actress Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Actress Lori Loughlin, in tan at right, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, in green tie behind her, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston Wednesday for the first time since they were charged last month in a massive college admissions cheating scandal. They were among 50 people - including coaches, powerful financiers, and entrepreneurs - charged in a brazen plot in which wealthy parents allegedly schemed to bribe sports coaches at top colleges to admit their children. Many of the parents allegedly paid to have someone else take the SAT or ACT exams for their children or correct their answers, guaranteeing them high scores. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Actress Felicity Huffman, center, leaves the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston Wednesday for the first time since they were charged last month in a massive college admissions cheating scandal. They were among 50 people - including coaches, powerful financiers, and entrepreneurs - charged in a brazen plot in which wealthy parents allegedly schemed to bribe sports coaches at top colleges to admit their children. Many of the parents allegedly paid to have someone else take the SAT or ACT exams for their children or correct their answers, guaranteeing them high scores. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin, front, and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, depart federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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