Felicity Huffman pleads guilty to fraud

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48260657

Felicity Huffman arrives to court in BostonImage copyright
Reuters

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Felicity Huffman arrives at court in Boston

US actress Felicity Huffman has pleaded guilty to fraudulently conspiring to win a college place for her daughter.

In a Boston court, the Desperate Housewives star admitted paying $15,000 (£11,500) to have her daughter’s exam answers secretly corrected in 2017.

In a statement last month, she said she was in “full acceptance” of her guilt.

Prosecutors have recommended a four-month prison term and a $20,000 fine. Huffman, 56, was among 50 charged in the college admissions scandal.

The wealthy parents charged allegedly paid bribes, had exams altered, and even had their children edited into stock photos to fake sporting talents in order to fraudulently secure spots at elite US universities.

Parents and college athletic coaches were charged in the scheme, but no children have been accused of committing crimes.

At Monday’s hearing, Huffman admitted one count of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

She was secretly recorded discussing the scheme as she made plans to falsify a college entrance exam score for her oldest daughter, Sophia Macy.

The actress made arrangements to cheat a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so, according to prosecutors.

Huffman said her daughter was unaware of the cheating, and that she felt “regret and shame” for having “betrayed” her.

She did not speak to reporters outside the courthouse on Monday as she arrived holding hands with her brother.

Last month, Netflix announced it would postpone the release of a movie, Otherhood, starring Huffman that was originally set for release on 26 April. It did not specify a new premiere date.

Though Huffman was among the most high-profile figures indicted, the $15,000 figure paid by Huffman and her husband – actor William H Macy – was among the smallest sums allegedly paid by any of the other parents charged in the scandal, according to court documents.

Lori Loughlin, another Hollywood actress ensnared in the scandal along with her husband, has plead not guilty to allegedly paying a total of $500,000 in bribes to have their daughters accepted to the University of Southern California as members of the rowing team.

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