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.
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.