Actress Felicity Huffman plead guilty on Monday to fraud after having her daughter’s college entrance exam answers secretly corrected in 2017 in the national college scandal that has rocked Hollywood.
The former “Desperate Housewives” TV star entered a Boston courthouse her brother, Moore Huffman Jr., around 12:45 p.m., which was two hours before the actual hearing. Although she wasn’t alone in committing the crimes, her husband, actor William H. Macy, was not present in court with her nor has he been charged.
Prosecutors are recommending the minimum sentence: four to 10 months in prison along with a $20,000 fine, according to law enforcement officials. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. They also have said that they would recommend 12 months of supervised release.
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The parents who were indicted and charged allegedly paid bribes, had exams altered and even had their children edited into photos to fraudulently present that those children played sports in order to secure spots at top US universities. Huffman was arrested in March. She was charged with paying $15,000 to have a proctor boost her older daughter’s SAT score.
Parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the scheme, but to date, none of the students have been charged with a crime.
Felicity Huffman entered the plea Monday to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Huffman stood quietly with her hands clasped in front of her and responded, “Yes, your honor,” when she was asked if she understood the charges.
She has apologized in court for her role in the college scandal, also committing fraud and stated she will accept the consequences.
Federal sentencing guidelines are consultative- meaning judges may impose sentencing for crimes that are longer or shorter than the advised range. The plea agreement also details that Felicity Huffman “reserves the right to argue” that her crime actually corresponds to a lower sentencing guideline of zero to six months of incarceration.