By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER
BOSTON — Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other prominent parents have agreed to plead guilty in the sweeping college admissions cheating scam that has ensnared wealthy families and athletic coaches at some of the nations most selective universities, federal authorities said Monday.
The “Desperate Housewives” star and the other parents will admit to charges in the scheme, which authorities say involved rigging standardized test scores and bribing coaches at such prestigious schools as Yale and Georgetown.
Huffman, 56, was accused of paying a consultant $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to boost her daughters SAT score. Authorities say the actress also discussed going through with the same plan for her younger daughter, but she ultimately decided not to.
Other parents charged in the scheme include prominent figures in law, finance, fashion, the food and beverage industry and other fields.
Its the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot.
The consultant, Rick Singer, met with Huffman and her husband, 69-year-old actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained to them he “controlled” a testing center and could have somebody secretly change their daughters answers, authorities say. Singer told investigators Huffman and her husband agreed to the plan.
Macy was not charged. Authorities have not said why.
Huffman will plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud, according to court documents.
In her first public comments since her arrest last month, she apologized and said she accepts full responsibility for her actions and “will accept the consequences.”
Huffman said in a statement that her daughter did not know about her actions. She said her desire to help her daughter was “no excuse to break the law.”
Michael Center, the former mens tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin, has also agreed to plead guilty, prosecutors said Monday. Center was accused of accepting nearly $100,000 to help a non-tennis playing applicant get admitted as a recruit.
California real estate developer Bruce Isackson and his wife, Davina Isackson, who are pleading guilty to participating in both the athletic recruitment and exam rigging schemes, are cooperating with prosecutors for a chance at a lighter sentence.
“We have worked cooperatively with the prosecutors and will continue to do so as we take full responsibility for our bad judgment,” they said in a statement.
Fellow actress Lori Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither participated in the sport. They were not among those who agreed to plead guilty, and they have not publicly addressed the allegations.
Singer, the consultant, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-Read More – Source