Actress Felicity Huffman appeared in court Tuesday after she was arrested as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating scam case.
Her bond was set at $250,000 and she had to hand over her passport as well, the U.S. District Attorney’s office for Central California (Los Angeles) confirmed to TheWrap on Tuesday
Representatives for Huffman did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Huffman was among 46 individuals charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC, according to charging documents. “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, along with her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was among those charged and is currently traveling back to Los Angeles to surrender to authorities. (Her reps declined to comment when contacted by TheWrap.)
During a press conference in Boston on Tuesday morning, Andrew Lelling, U.S. District Attorney for Massachusetts, said this was the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” totaling $25 million in bribes.
The official charges for both actresses were “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.” If convicted, they could each face up to five years in prison.
According to a separate 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.” The document added that Huffman “later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her youngest daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
The documents also say that Loughlin and 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.”
The scam centered around a California man, William Singer, who ran a business to help students gain admission into the college of their choice. This would involve being paid a pre-set amount by parents, who then funneled the money to either an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach. The scheme would work in one of two ways, according to prosecutors: The coaches would arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete or exam administrators would either hire proctors to take the test or correct the answers of a student after the fact.
According to the Associated Press, Singer pleaded guilty in a Boston federal courtroom on Tuesday to charges ranging from racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.