She is expected to appear in a Boston courtroom March 29 to address the charges.
Huffman is accused of disguising a $US15,000 charitable payment in the bribery scheme, according to court records. Prosecutors alleged Huffman met with a confidential witness who explained that he could control an SAT testing centre and could arrange for someone to proctor her daughter’s test and correct it.
Huffman’s older daughter allegedly took the test in December 2017 and received a score of 1420. That was a 400-point improvement from her first test. In October 2018, Huffman was recorded by the FBI discussing participating in the same scheme for her younger daughter; however, she did not ultimately pursue it.
The case has shattered the clean images of Huffman and fellow Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin, who, along with her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, is accused of paying bribes of $US500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC (University of Southern California) crew team, despite the fact they did not participate in crew.
As an Emmy winner and Oscar nominee, Huffman has been known as one of Hollywood’s more versatile actresses, as well as one-half of one of its more famous acting couples. Macy has starred for the last several years in the Showtime series Shameless and was an Oscar nominee for the 1996 movie Fargo.
Macy recently described the college application process for their daughter Sofia, 18 to Parade magazine (the couple also has another teenage daughter, Georgia).
“I’m the outlier in this thing. We’re right now in the thick of college application time, which is so stressful. I am voting that once she gets accepted, she maybe takes a year off,” he said. “But it’s just my opinion, and we’ll see what she wants to do, what Felicity thinks and how the chips fall.”
Playwright David Mamet wrote a letter supporting Macy and Huffman, longtime friends, in an open letter posted by The Hollywood Reporter.
“That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon,” he wrote in an open letter.
While Loughlin’s resume might not be as accomplished, her face may be even better known: she gained fame for her role as the wholesome “Aunt Becky” in the 1990s sitcom Full House, and for the past few years has become the queen of the Hallmark channel with her holiday movies and the series When Calls the Heart.
Loughlin and Giannulli have two daughters, Isabella Rose, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19, who has a YouTube channel of beauty tips. Both are at the University of Southern California.
Loughlin said in 2016 that it was important for her children to have “the college experience” that she missed out on.
“I want them to be happy,” she told Entertainment Tonight back in 2016. “I want to be supportive of everything they want to do, but I do want them to have somewhat of a normal [life]. Finish out high school, college experience – maybe because I didn’t have that, I really want that for them.”
Loughlin said she encouraged her children to pursue higher education to “have a little more control over your own destiny,” unlike her own experience with acting, where she explained, “nine times out of 10 you didn’t get the job”.
Although Loughlin dreamed of her girls experiencing university life, Olivia Jade made it clear she wasn’t that interested in college. In one of her online videos last summer, the beauty influencer explained that her extensive work schedule is her main priority, not textbooks.
“I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know,” she said in the video.
She later apologised in another video, adding that she didn’t intent to come off as, “I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school.”
The alleged fraud scheme centred on the owner of a for-profit college admissions company that wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools, including the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown, according to court records.
Los Angeles Time, USA Today