In a federal court in Boston Monday, actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty for her role in the college admissions scandal. Fox 8 reported that prosecutors recommended four months of prison time for Huffman, as well as 12 months of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.
Known for her role in the Desperate Housewives TV show, Huffman, Full House actress Lori Loughlin, and dozens of other parents were charged back in March in what many called the biggest college admissions scam in history. On Monday, Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for paying a fake charity $15,000 to fix her daughter’s SAT test, according to The New York Times.
In an April statement announcing her decision to plead guilty, Huffman said, “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."
The aforementioned fake charity was linked to consultant Rick Singer, according to Fox 8. According to authorities, Singer confessed to aiding wealthy parents in fixing scores on their children's standardized exams. As such, Fox 80 reported that Huffman's daughter scored 1420 out of a total of 1600 on her SAT, which was a notable 400 points higher than her Preliminary SAT score.
The Desperate Housewives celebrity said in her April statement announcing her decision to plead guilty that she was "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," Huffman stated that month.
In contrast to Huffman, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli did not plead guilty to paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California, according to The New York Times in April. The official complaint against the couple stated that Loughlin and Giannulli sought to get their two daughters into the university as crew team recruits in spite of both not being rowers.
The college admissions scandal immediately sparked a passionate public discussion about wealth, privilege, merit, and being able to enter the world of higher education in America. In the wake of the college admissions scam, Wake Forest sociology professor Joseph Soares spoke with The Intelligencer to explain why so many people were enraged about supposed "meritocracy" in the United States.
"The professional, managerial class, the people with high incomes, they like to think they deserve to be where they are," Soares told the outlet. "And this sort of crass, vulgar, illegal, immoral, side-door attempt to get into these private institutions offends everybody’s ego, and makes them think that they’re somehow themselves undeserving."
Given such public outrage, it looks like those named in the scandal will have to contend with criticism for a while. As for Huffman, the Desperate Housewives actress will be sentenced on Sept. 13, WCVB reported.