Transamerica Star Felicity Huffman Charged In College Cheating Scandal

The former 'Desperate Housewives' actress could face up to five years in prison.

A close up of actress Felicity Huffman at the launch of a TV show

Felicity Huffman, the actress who was Oscar nominated for her role as a trans woman in the film Transamerica, is among 50 people who have been charged in a multi million dollar college cheating scandal.

Huffman was listed among 33 parents who conspired to bribe their children’s way into top universities such as Yale and Stanford even though they were not up to the standards set.

Over 25 million dollars was paid by the parents to Key Worldwide Foundation under the guise of donations. The money was used to hire people to write admission exams for the students, pay off officials overseeing SAT and ACT tests to ‘correct’ exams and give students far higher marks than they had achieved and bribing school coaches to recruit students as athletes, even though in many cases the student had never actually played the sport.

Huffman is married to the actor William H Macy, although he was not indicted. Others involved in the scandal include Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.

William Singer, the man behind Key Worldwide Foundation, pled guilty to the charge of racketeering, as did a number of school coaches involved. District Attorney of Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, told the press: “The schools are not considered co-conspirators,” before adding, “Today we have charged 33 parents nationwide. These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”

For Huffman, and the other parents, the strongest sentence available is five years jail time. The court papers described how Huffman “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter…Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so.”

Concluding the year-long investigation which resulted in the indictments, FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta said, “This should be a warning to others, you can’t pay to play, you can’t lie and cheat to get ahead because you will get caught.”

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