Actress Felicity Huffman pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. She paid $15,000 in a phony charitable contribution on behalf of her older daughter Monday in order to participate in the college admission scheme. She also paid someone to correct wrong answers on her daughter’s SAT exam. Her husband, actor William H. Macy was not named in the indictment.
“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.
“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.”
Note that Huffman specifically said her daughter knew “absolutely nothing” of what she was doing. That’s in contrast to Lori Loughlin’s daughter who is caught up in this mess. There is some speculation that the students will be have to testify against their parents in court.
Felicity Huffman didn’t mention her husband in her statement. His name appears in wire-tap transcripts in the RICO Act case. While Macy was in the public gallery during Huffman’s arraignment in March, he didn’t appear in Boston with her last week. Her brother accompanied her into court. She faces up to 20 years in prison, but her plea deal puts her on the low end of the sentencing range. She could end up with a $20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release. No further charges will be brought against her and next up will be her appearance before a federal judge who will have the final say.
Thirteen others entered pleas of guilty Monday but Lori Loughlin’s name is not on the list. Her hesitance may hinder her ability to cut a deal.
“Well, the deal for people who pled out today – they got the best deal possible. Again, even though there was the seven to nine [months of possible prison time], the deal is in that zero to six range – which is the lowest you’re going to get,” former New York State prosecutor Adam Citron told Fox News after the plea deals were announced on Monday.
“It obviously helps that they’re pleading quickly as not to drag out the case and it shows that they’re accountable for their actions and they’re showing remorse. I’m sure in the pre-trial interviews they present themselves as remorseful and they’re already making statements showing remorse. So these are not stupid people – they know how to act to get the best deal and also play to the court to try and get the most lenient sentence possible.”
That is exactly what Huffman did. She admitted she felt shame and regret. She took full responsibility for her actions. Or at least she was smart enough to act as though those were her feelings. Perhaps Lori Loughlin hasn’t been offered a deal yet. No matter, though. The damage to all these parents has been done.
It’s reported that while his wife and thirteen others were pleading guilty Monday afternoon, William H. Macy was spotted in a Los Angeles shopping mall garage leaving on his motorcycle. Maybe he was in need of a little retail therapy.