ENTERTAINMENT
09/04/2019 7:57 AM IST

Felicity Huffman, 13 Others Agree To Plead Guilty In College Admissions Scandal

The "Desperate Housewives" star and 12 other parents, as well as one college coach, agreed to plead guilty to "using bribery and other forms of fraud."

Felicity Huffman and 13 other defendants in a massive college admissionsbribery scandal agreed to plead guilty on Monday to charges of bribery and fraud.

The group of 13 parents agreed to plead guilty to “using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities,” according to a Massachusetts Department of Justice press release. One college athletic coach also agreed to plead guilty on Monday.

“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,” Huffman said in a statement. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.”

Huffman is one of dozens of parents, celebrities, coaches, CEOs, real estate professionals and others charged last month in what the FBI called a “nationwide conspiracy” to secure students’ admission to elite universities through fraudulent means.

Law enforcement officials arrested over 50 people implicated in “Operation Varsity Blues,” including Huffman, who was later released on a $250,000 bond.

The 13 parents who agreed to guilty pleas on Monday acknowledged paying thousands of dollars to William Rick Singer, who founded a for-profit college admissions company in Newport Beach, California, that masqueraded as a not-for-profit group. Singer helped parents fake application materials for their children and in March agreed to plead guilty to charges including racketeering and money laundering conspiracy.

Huffman paid Singer at least $15,000 to help her eldest daughter cheat on college entrance exams, according to the Massachusetts Department of Justice.

Some of the parents named on Monday’s release agreed to pay Singer hundreds of thousands of dollars for help facilitating fraudulent applications. One couple allegedly paid Singer a whopping $600,000 to participate in the scheme.

Michael Center, the former men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas, who also agreed to plead guilty on Monday, personally accepted $60,000 in bribes from Singer, according to the release. He also allegedly directed $40,000 from Singer to the University of Texas tennis program in exchange for falsely designating the child of one of Singer’s clients as a tennis recruit. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.