The case over the college bribery scandal is developing quickly. 14 suspects in the scandal have already pleaded guilty ahead of a larger trial, among them actress Felicity Huffman.
Huffman pleaded guilty in the “Varsity Blues” investigation that found dozens of wealthy parents bribing their kids’ way into exclusive colleges and universities.
The 56-year-old Desperate Housewives actress appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston on Monday and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to ABC News.
She could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine, based on the prosecutors’ recommendation, CBS reported.
Huffman released a statement after her appearance:
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” Huffman said in her statement. “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 action.”
Prosecutors charged Huffman with giving $15,000 to William “Rick” Singer who was a ring leader in the alleged fraud “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of their oldest daughter.”
Huffman repeated the scam for her second daughter.
“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,” Huffman added.
Huffman insisted her daughters did not know about the bribery.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” she said. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
While Huffman pleaded guilty, fellow actress Lori Loughlin has not yet made a decision on her response to the indictments.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.