Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on Monday, accepting responsibility for paying a $15,000 bribe to boost her daughter’s SAT score.
Federal prosecutors recommended a four-month prison sentence, a $20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release. Huffman is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13.
The “Desperate Housewives” actress was accompanied in court by her brother, Moore Huffman Jr. Her defense attorneys are expected to ask for a reduction in the seriousness of the offense, which could mean that she would not face any prison time.
Huffman and a dozen other parents agreed to plead guilty last month, as part of massive federal investigation into widespread cheating in elite college admissions.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” Huffman said in a statement in April.
Investigators have said Macy, 69, was with her when an admissions consultant Rick Singer explained how he could arrange for the cheating because he “controlled” a test center. Both Huffman and Macy agreed to the plan, authorities say, but Macy has not been charged. Prosecutors have not explained why.
The California businessman Devin Sloane also pleaded guilty Monday to paying $250,000 in bribes to get his son into the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit. Authorities say he gave money to Singer’s sham charity and the USC women’s athletic program to have his son designated as a water polo recruit even though he didn’t play the sport. Officials say Sloane even bought athletic gear online and worked with a graphic designer to create a bogus photo of his son playing the sport for the teen’s application.
Huffman and Sloane are among 14 parents who agreed to plead guilty in the biggest admissions scandal ever prosecuted in the US, known as Operation Varsity Blues. The scandal involving prestigious schools across the country has also embroiled prominent college coaches.