May 13 (UPI) — Prosecutors in Massachusetts recommended a four-month prison sentence for actor Felicity Huffman on Monday after she formally entered her guilty plea in a college admissions scandal, court documents indicate.
Appearing in federal court, Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She was accused of agreeing to pay William “Rick” Singer, the accused mastermind of the scheme, thousands of dollars to help her daughter with her college admissions process.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen recommended the four-month sentence, which was scheduled to be handed down Sept. 13.
Court documents filed in April indicated the Desperate Housewives star and 13 other defendants in the scheme planned to plead guilty. The documents said Huffman paid Singer $15,000 to get her daughter more time to take her SAT test. The actor’s husband, William H. Macy was not charged in the scheme.
In a statement released in April, Huffman said she had “deep regret and shame” over her actions, and she plans to accept responsibility for her crime.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. 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,” she said.
Huffman said she “betrayed” her daughter, who had no knowledge of the scheme.
“This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life,” Huffman said. “My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Huffman was one of 50 people implicated in the scheme, dubbed Varsity Blues, in which prospective students paid for unlawful help with standardized test or paid bribes to be designated as student-athletes for sports they didn’t play.
Among the accused was another actor, Lori Loughlin, who allegedly paid $500,000 to help her two daughters gain acceptance to the University of Southern California through its rowing team.
Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded not guilty in April. They each face up to 20 years in prison.