What Crime Is ‘Desperate Housewives’ Star Felicity Huffman Charged With?
You might say it’s something a character from Desperate Housewives might do. And you might imagine it turning up in a side plot of Epix’s Get Shorty, which follows FBI agents trying to get to the bottom of a big conspiracy in L.A.
Felicity Huffman, who is married to William H. Macy, has starred in both those series. According to charges filed in Boston courts today, Huffman finds herself on the other side of the law than the FBI agent she plays in Get Shorty.
NBC News reported the FBI recorded Huffman making phone calls related to a college admissions scam aimed at getting her daughter into an elite university. The charging documents say Huffman and Macy paid thousands of dollars to help make that happen.
Lori Loughlin, who starred on the hit sitcom Full House, also faces charges in the scam.
Huffman faces two fraud charges in the case.
According to NBC News, Huffman will have to face a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and a charge of honest services fraud. Court documents, which were also reviewed by ABC News, say that Huffman and Macy made a contribution of $15,000 that was supposed to look like a charitable donation.
Instead, the money allegedly served as a payment for individuals who changed answers on tests or took the tests on behalf of students. ABC reported that Huffman and Macy made the payment of behalf of their eldest daughter, Sofia Grace.
When the couple’s second daughter began applying for college, Huffman considered the scheme once again but eventually decided against it. The FBI said they have phone calls of Huffman discussing the scheme with a witness who agreed to cooperate with authorities.
At this point, it’s unclear if Macy, the star of Shameless, will also face charges.
The students themselves mostly didn’t know what the parents did.
ABC reported that the bribes, which aimed to help children get into schools like Yale and Georgetown, ran as high as $6 million. That figure makes Huffman and Macy’s $15,000 seem minimal. But all amounts seem excessive considering the students were working to get into schools on their own.
According to the court documents, most students had no idea their parents plotted behind the scenes on their behalf. As they took SAT prep classes and studied, their parents looked to make their college picks a sure thing.
The indictments named over 40 people, so Huffman will be only one name in this case as it unfolds. Loughlin, who also faces fraud charges, reportedly sent incriminating emails later intercepted by the FBI.
College athletic coaches may also be among those ensnared by the probe. The court documents allege that the scam invented athletic careers for some students who did not participate in sports.
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