Felicity Huffman will plead guilty to the charge against her in the nationwide college admissions cheating case, the actress said Monday.
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” Huffman said in a statement. Huffman will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, which comes with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to court papers, in addition to Huffman, 12 other people will plead guilty to the charges against them.
Huffman, along with actress Lori Loughlin, was arrested last month as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating case. In total, the people arrested were charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC in what authorities described as the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
Loughlin, who was charged with the same count as Huffman, was not among the parents who pleaded guilty on Monday. Both of them made their initial court appearance in Boston last week.
According to an affidavit, Huffman and her spouse — “Shameless” star William H. Macy, who was not identified by his name or charged in the affidavit — made a charitable donation of $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter.”
Huffman continued that her daughter had no involvement in the scheme. “My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” she said.
According to the charging documents, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
Loughlin was fired by Hallmark, where she starred on “When Calls the Heart” and many of the network’s original films, and is said to be out of the final season of Netflix’s “Fuller House,” though the streamer has yet to say anything official on the matter.
Read Huffman’s full statement below:
I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office.
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.
I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. 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. 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 or engage in dishonesty.