Felicity Huffman Allegedly Paid $15,000 to Have Proctor 'Secretly Correct' Daughter's SATs
Felicity Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud
Ed. Note: On Wednesday, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin will appear in a Boston courtroom Wednesday to face a judge for their alleged involvement in the nationwide college admissions cheating scandal.
In their preliminary hearings, the court will read the charges to the two actresses. It is unclear whether they will enter pleas. Both women face felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud after being arrested in March.
Ahead of her court appearance, here is PEOPLE’s March 12 story about the allegations Huffman faces.
Authorities allege that Felicity Huffman conspired to pay $15,000 to an organization that facilitated cheating on her daughter’s SATs by having a proctor correct her answers.
According to an indictment obtained by PEOPLE from the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Prosecutors allege that dozens of parents — including Huffman and fellow actress Lori Loughlin — paid sums to admissions consultant William Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”). Then, prosecutors allege, the KWF would bribe coaches and administrators to accept the donors’ kids into prestigious college programs.
“Huffman and her spouse made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 to KWF to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter,” the criminal complaint reads. “Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
Huffman also discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with a cooperating witness, the complaint alleges.
(Ed note: The cooperating witness has since been identified as William “Rick” Singer, who pleaded guilty to several charges and admitted to devising the scam.)
According to the complaint, the cooperating witness told Huffman that he “controlled” a testing center, and could arrange for a third party to purport to proctor their older daughter’s SAT and secretly correct her answers afterwards.
The witness and Huffman then allegedly exchanged emails about the logistics of the cheating. When the daughter’s high school counselor suggested that she herself would administer the test, Huffman allegedly sent an email to the witness. “Ruh Ro! Looks like [my daughter’s high school] wants to provide own proctor,” she allegedly wrote.
Huffman allegedly told the high school counselor that her daughter would take her SAT at a different location. Ultimately, the daughter took a SAT proctored by a person described in the complaint as another cooperating witness — and performed 400 points better on that exam than on her PSAT.
The complaint alleges that Huffman and “her spouse” made the $15,000 donation to KWF. Although she is married to actor William H. Macy, he is not indicted in the case.
The complaint alleges that Huffman spoke with the witness again, this time on behalf of her younger daughter.
On or about November 12, 2018, Huffman allegedly “confirmed that she wanted to proceed with the cheating scheme, but probably only after her daughter first took the exam on her own, without cheating,” the complaint reads.
But at some point after that phone conversation, they allegedly changed her mind. “Ultimately, Huffman and her spouse decided not to pursue the SAT cheating scheme for their younger daughter,” the complaint alleges.
A law enforcement source confirms to CNN that Huffman has been arrested in Los Angeles.
Federal court records unsealed Tuesday in Boston name Huffman as one of 50 people who have been indicted as part of the alleged nationwide scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.
Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are allegedly implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators, the release says.
Reps for Huffman and Loughlin did not immediately return calls by PEOPLE for comment. She will appear in court on Tuesday.