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Published: Monday, April 08, 2019 @ 3:02 PM
Updated: Monday, April 08, 2019 @ 3:31 PM
— Actress Felicity Huffman and 13 other people charged as part of a federal investigation into a large-scale college admissions bribery scandal plan to plead guilty, Justice Department officials said Monday in a statement.
Huffman, 56, paid admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer at least $15,000 to rig her eldest daughter’s college entrance exam, authorities said. She disguised the payment as a charitable donation, investigators said in a complaint filed in court.
Huffman plans to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as part of an agreement with prosecutors, Justice Department officials said.
In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Huffman said she was “in full acceptance” of her guilt and that she has “deep regret and shame over what I have done.”
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” she said. “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.”
Felicity Huffman pleading guilty in college admissions scandal. Here's her statement. pic.twitter.com/m7bDAB6LTF— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) April 8, 2019
Justice Department officials said twelve other parents and one coach caught up in the scandal also planned to plead guilty to various charges. Authorities identified them as:
It was not immediately clear when the defendants would appear in court for plea hearings.
Huffman was one of 50 people charged last month as part of the admissions scheme, in which parents allegedly paid Singer to bribe college coaches and rig test scores to get their children into elite universities. The scandal also led to the arrests of “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.
At least nine college athletic coaches have been charged as part of the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, authorities said.
Singer, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigators. Former Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith has also pleaded guilty.
Several coaches have pleaded not guilty, including tennis coach Gordon Ernst, who is accused of accepting $2.7 million in bribes to designate at least 12 applicants as recruits to Georgetown University.