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Felicity Huffman expected to plead guilty Monday in Boston

What you need to know about Operation Varsity Blues
A lot has happened since dozens were charged in March in the high-profile college admissions scandal. (Mark Gartsbeyn, Eva Maldonado, Caitlin Healy)

Actress Felicity Huffman is expected to formally plead guilty in Boston on Monday for participating in the college admissions cheating scandal.

Huffman, along with 50 other people, was charged back in March as part of “Operation Varsity Blues,” which found that wealthy parents had allegedly cut fat checks to get their children falsely certified as athletic recruits at elite colleges and universities, or to facilitate cheating on their kids’ SAT and ACT scores.

Huffman’s original US District Court sentencing date was May 21. However, Massachusetts US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office moved the date one week earlier because the line prosecutor will be traveling out of the country, according to court filings.


Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to improve her daughter’s SAT scores, according to court documents released last month.

“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” Huffman said in a statement in April. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life.”

Huffman is among more than a dozen parents who signed plea agreements with prosecutors, who will seek prison sentences ranging from a few months to a few years, according to previous court filings.

Lori Loughlin, another high-profile actress involved in the scandal, is among a group of parents under indictment who have pleaded not guilty through their attorneys as they fight the criminal charges.

The mastermind behind the cheating scam, William “Rick” Singer has himself pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Prior to his plea, he cooperated with law enforcement. Singer’s interactions with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, were obtained by law enforcement.


Huffman and Macy - who is not facing charges - hired Singer to improve the results of one of their daughters on standardized testing scheduled for December 2017, ultimately paying $15,000 to a bogus charity Singer operated as part of the scam.

Before the December 2017 SAT, Huffman and her spouse agreed to a plan that would arrange for their daughter to take the standardized test at a location controlled by Singer where Singer ally, Mark Riddell, would proctor the test and could “secretly correct her answers afterwards.”

At the instruction of Singer, Huffman obtained permission from the College Board to allow her daughter a 100 percent increase in the test-taking time. Huffman alerted her daughter’s high school guidance counselor about the change, leading the counselor to unwittingly disrupt the plans, according to an FBI affidavit.

The counselor noted that Huffman’s daughter would have to take the test at her high school and the guidance counselor would be the proctor.

“Ruh Ro!’’ Huffman wrote to Singer, according to the court filing. “Looks like [my daughter’s school] wants to provide their own proctor.”

At the instruction of Singer, Huffman notified the school that her daughter would be taking the test at the West Hollywood Test Center on the weekend so she would not miss any school. According to the court filing, a Singer ally proctored the exam attended by Huffman’s daughter on Dec. 2, 2017, and secretly changed her answers.

“Ultimately, Huffman’s daughter received a score of 1420 on the SAT, an improvement of 400 points over her PSAT” when she took it without help one year earlier, the court filing said.


Huffman and her spouse later talked with Singer about scamming the test results for their younger daughter, whom Huffman described as “academically driven.” They agreed to pay $15,000 to get her SAT scores near the 1600 range so her daughter would qualify for “places like” Georgetown University, the court filing said.

However, the couple did not follow through on that plan.

Previous Globe material was used in this report. Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at maddie.kilgannon@globe.com.