Having entered a guilty plea today and facing potential prison time, Felicity Huffman is now extremely contrite about the “transgression” of the big bucks she paid out to get one of her daughters in a top school in the college bribery scheme.
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” the American Crime actor said mere minutes after the feds revealed her plea in the on-going investigation. “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 added in a lengthy apology of sorts.
Facing a potential sentence of up to 20 years behind bars out of the yearlong “Operation Varsity Blues” by federal prosecutors and the FBI, Huffman “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,” according to the lengthy March 6 indictment.
The still CAA-repped Huffman also paid an undisclosed sum to an individual who “controlled” a Los Angeles SAT testing center to fix her daughter’s incorrect exam answers. That effort led to a massive increase in the daughter’s test score and consequently admission to a top college.
The indictments, made public on March 12, saw 50 people charged in the nationwide $25 million scam by William Singer and his phony Key Worldwide Foundation.
Having plead guilty on March 12 and now cooperating with the feds, ex-call center manager Singer’s scam was to promised to fast-track the kids of the wealthy to top schools like USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest and Georgetown with fake athletic credentials or phony SAT scores.
Among the 33 wealthy parents arrested last month, Huffman and Full House star Lori Loughlin are being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, according to the unsealed indictment. Out on $1 million bail and having surrendered her passport at court hearings, Loughlin has not entered a plea, yet.
“On or about March 21, 2018, Masera sent HUFFMAN and her spouse a letter thanking them for the purported donation and falsely stating that it would ‘allow us to move forward with our plans to provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth,” noted an affidavit from the federal prosecutors filed today of the digital paper trail between Huffman and William H. Macy and Singer’s team (read it here). “The letter falsely stated that ‘no goods or services were exchanged’ for the $15,000,” the paperwork added.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” Huffman stated Monday in her apology, which follows her April 4 stint in court in Boston and a March 12 bail bond of $250,000. “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.”
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” Huffman noted. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law of engage in dishonesty.”
Interestingly there was no mention of Huffman’s husband Macy in her statement today. While citied on wire-tap transcripts in the RICO Act case and in Monday’s affidavit, the Shameless star has not been named as a defendant in the nationwide matter. A clearly upset Macy was in the public gallery for Huffman’s March 12 arraignment, but did not appear in Boston for the preliminary hearing on April 4.
As Deadline exclusively revealed last week, the sentiment among law enforcement indicates that both Huffman and Loughlin are looking at penalties of somewhere around six months to just under two years behind bars. The actual time sentenced and potential probation and fines could, in no small part, depend on how much the duo cooperate with the ongoing probe, I was told by sources close to the situation.
No plea hearing has yet been set for Huffman, yet. Also, with no comment from Netflix or a response from CAA, the fate of Huffman featuring projects on the streamer and the actor’s relationship with the uber-agency is undetermined at present.