Huffman to plead guilty in college scandal
Desperate Housewives actor Felicity Huffman has agreed to plead guilty in the US college admissions cheating scam involving some of the nation's most selective universities.
Huffman and 12 other prominent parents will admit to charges in the scheme, which authorities say involved rigging standardised test scores and bribing coaches at such prestigious schools as Yale and Georgetown.
Huffman was accused of paying consultant Rick Singer $US15,000 ($A21,042) disguised as a charitable donation to boost her daughter's test score.
Authorities say the 56-year-old actor also discussed going through with the same plan for her younger daughter, but ultimately decided not to.
Huffman apologised for taking part in the scheme, saying in a statement that she accepts full responsibility for her actions and "will accept the consequences that stem from those actions".
In her first public comments since her arrest last month, she added that her daughter did not know about her actions, and her desire to help her child is "no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty".
Other parents charged in the scheme include prominent figures in law, finance, fashion, the food and beverage industry and other fields.
Singer met Huffman and her husband, 69-year-old actor William H Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained to them he "controlled" a testing centre and could have somebody secretly change their daughter's answers, authorities say.
Singer told investigators Huffman and her husband agreed to the plan. Macy was not charged.
Huffman will plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court documents.
Michael Center, the former men's tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin, has also agreed to plead guilty, prosecutors said.
Center was accused of accepting nearly $US100,000 ($A140,279) to help a non-tennis playing applicant get admitted as a recruit.
California property developer Bruce Isackson and his wife Davina, who are pleading guilty to participating in the athletic recruitment and exam rigging schemes, are co-operating with prosecutors for a chance at a lighter sentence.
"We have worked co-operatively with the prosecutors and will continue to do so as we take full responsibility for our bad judgment," they said in a statement.
Actor Lori Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on Full House, and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are charged with paying $US500,000 ($A701,395) in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither participated in the sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli are not among those who have agreed to plead guilty and have not publicly addressed the allegations.
Singer pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public.
© AP 2019