Desperate Housewives star pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Felicity Huffman has agreed to plead guilty in the US college admissions cheating case.

The actress, best known for her role in Desperate Housewives, was accused of paying $15,000 (£11,500) to an invigilator to boost her daughter’s SAT score.

In March, court documents said Huffman had paid the money disguised as a charitable donation.

Huffman said in a statement that she accepted responsibility and that she “will accept the consequences that stem from those actions”.

Court documents say a witness met with Huffman and husband William H Macy at their home in Los Angeles.

He explained to them that he “controlled” a testing centre and could arrange for their daughter’s answers to be changed.

Macy has not been charged, but authorities have not said why.

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The couple’s daughter, Sofia, is an aspiring actress who attends Los Angeles High School of the Arts.

actress Lori Loughlin arrives at the People's Choice Awards 2017 in Los Angeles
Image: Actress Lori Loughlin is not among those who have agreed to plead guilty

Huffman said Sofia was unaware of her actions and that a desire to help her daughter was “no excuse to break the law”.

Huffman was among 50 people, including 33 parents, charged in America’s biggest college admissions scam, where wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and testing centre insiders to get their children into elite universities, including Stanford and Yale.

Federal prosecutors said that 13 others had agreed to plead guilty.

Among them is Michael Center, former men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin.

Center was accused of accepting nearly $100,000 (£76,000) to help an applicant get into the university as a recruit.

But the applicant did not play tennis and did not even start once they were enrolled at the university.

Also pleading guilty are California marketing executive Jane Buckingham; Gregory Abbott, the founder of a New York food and beverage packaging company; and Agustin Huneeus, who was the owner of a California wine company.

Two parents – Gordon Caplan, the former co-chairman of law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher and packaged food entrepreneur Peter Sartorio – said last week themselves that they had reached plea deals.

Other parents who have agreed to plead guilty include Bruce Isackson, the president of a California real estate development firm, and his wife, Davina Isackson.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli have also been charged but they are not among those who have agreed to plead guilty.

No students have been charged, with authorities saying that in many cases the teenagers were unaware of what was going on.

Source: SKY NEWS

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