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CrimeFelicity Huffman and LA businessman to formally plead guilty in college admissions case

19:51  13 may  2019
19:51  13 may  2019 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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Actress Felicity Huffman is one of two people expected to formally plead guilty in Boston on Monday for participating in the college admissions cheating scandal. Huffman , along with 50 other people, was charged back in March as part of “Operation Varsity Blues

BOSTON — Actress Felicity Huffman tearfully pleaded guilty to federal charges Monday, admitting that she paid a fixer thousands of dollars to boost her daughter's college admission hopes. Five parents have now formally pleaded guilty in connection with the wide-ranging prosecution.

Felicity Huffman and LA businessman to formally plead guilty in college admissions case© Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff Actress Felicity Huffman left Federal Court in Boston in April.

Actress Felicity Huffman is one of two people expected to formally plead guilty in Boston on Monday for participating in the college admissions cheating scandal.

Huffman, along with 50 other people, was charged back in March as part of “Operation Varsity Blues,” which found that wealthy parents had allegedly cut fat checks to get their children falsely certified as athletic recruits at elite colleges and universities, or to facilitate cheating on their kids’ SAT and ACT scores.

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Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other parents will plead guilty in the college admissions scandal, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Monday. Huffman was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Huffman pleaded guilty Monday to paying ,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took the SATs.

Huffman agreed to plead guilty in March. Massachusetts US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office has said in court papers it will recommend a short prison term, a fine of $20,000, and a year of supervised release.

Also set to appear before US District Court Judge Indira Talwani is Devin Sloane, a Los Angeles businessman who paid $250,000 to have his son designated as a member of the USC water polo team in 2018. Sloane paid mastermind William “Rick” Singer $200,000 and former USC athletic official Donna Heinel $50,000, according to court records.

Singer has pleaded guilty for his role and is awaiting sentencing. Heinel has pleaded not guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

Talwani is not bound to follow the recommendations from prosecutors.

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Felicity Huffman , In Tears, Pleads Guilty In College Bribery Scandal. Huffman is hoping her guilty plea , and her unequivocal apology, will earn her some leniency at sentencing. Another parent who pleaded guilty today, Los Angeles businessman Devin Sloane, is likely to serve a longer sentence.

Felicity Huffman will plead guilty to the charge against her as part of a nationwide college Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in John Stamos and Lori Loughlin during Target Hosts LA Fashion Week Party for Designer Mossimo

Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to improve her daughter’s SAT scores, according to court documents released last month.

“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” Huffman said in a statement in April. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life.”

Huffman is among more than a dozen parents who signed plea agreements with prosecutors, who will seek prison sentences ranging from a few months to a few years, according to previous court filings.

Lori Loughlin, another high-profile actress involved in the scandal, is among a group of 19 parents under indictment who have pleaded not guilty through their attorneys as they fight the criminal charges.

Prior to his plea, Singer cooperated with law enforcement. Singer’s interactions with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, were obtained by law enforcement.

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Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty on Monday to the charge against her in the nationwide college admissions cheating case in federal court in Boston.The guilty plea was expected, as the actress announced she would do so in April.

Felicity Huffman has officially pled guilty to her role in the college admissions scandal. The actress appeared in Boston federal court on Monday and pled After formally entering her plea for the felony charge, prosecutors recommended a sentence of four months prison time for Huffman , as well as a

Huffman and Macy — who is not facing charges — hired Singer to improve the results of one of their daughters on standardized testing scheduled for December 2017, ultimately paying $15,000 to a bogus charity Singer operated as part of the scam.

Before the December 2017 SAT, Huffman and her spouse agreed to a plan that would arrange for their daughter to take the standardized test at a location where Singer’s ally, Mark Riddell, would proctor the test and could “secretly correct her answers afterwards.”

At the instruction of Singer, Huffman obtained permission from the College Board to allow her daughter a 100 percent increase in the test-taking time. Huffman alerted her daughter’s high school guidance counselor about the change, leading the counselor to unwittingly disrupt the plans, according to an FBI affidavit.

The counselor noted that Huffman’s daughter would have to take the test at her high school and the guidance counselor would be the proctor.

“Ruh Ro!’’ Huffman wrote to Singer, according to the court filing. “Looks like [my daughter’s school] wants to provide their own proctor.”

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At the instruction of Singer, Huffman notified the school that her daughter would be taking the test at the West Hollywood Test Center on the weekend so she would not miss any school. According to the court filing, a Singer ally proctored the exam attended by Huffman’s daughter on Dec. 2, 2017, and secretly changed her answers.

“Ultimately, Huffman’s daughter received a score of 1420 on the SAT, an improvement of 400 points over her PSAT” when she took it without help one year earlier, the court filing said.

The man identified as Riddell was allegedly paid $35,000 by Singer for falsifying the test results for Huffman’s daughter and several other Singer clients. Singer also allegedly paid a bribe to the administrator of the test center.

Huffman and her spouse later talked with Singer about scamming the test results for their younger daughter, whom Huffman described as “academically driven.” They agreed to pay $15,000 to get her SAT scores near the 1600 range so her daughter would qualify for “places like” Georgetown University, the court filing said.

However, the couple did not follow through on that plan.

Shelley Murphy can be reached at shmurphy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shelleymurph.

Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @globemcramer.

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