What You Need to Know: Felicity Huffman

Felicity Huffman changes plea to guilty in college admissions scandal

Update 3:40 p.m. EDT May 13: Huffman became emotional Monday as she changed her plea from not guilty to guilty in a federal courthouse in Boston.

She told a judge she “did not know who was getting paid specifically  but she (admitted) she knew what was going on,” WFXT reported.

A judge accepted her change of plea at the hearing, WFXT reported. She’s set to be sentenced Sept. 13.

Update 3 p.m. EDT May 13: Huffman changed her plea during a court appearance Monday, WFXT reported.

Huffman, 56, paid admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer at least $15,000 to rig her eldest daughter’s college entrance exam, authorities said. She disguised the payment as a charitable donation, investigators said in a complaint filed in court.

Original report: Eyes across the nation will be on the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on Monday as Felicity Huffman is expected to formally plead guilty in the college admissions scandal.

>> Watch the news report here

Because the "Desperate Housewives" actress is pleading guilty before a trial, she is facing less than a year in prison, WFXT reports.

Huffman has admitted to paying $15,000 to help improve her daughter's SAT score, authorities said.

Once she enters her guilty plea, she’ll face a possible four to 10 months in jail, a year of probation and a $20,000 fine. 

>> On Boston25News.com: First guilty plea in college admissions scandal could set precedent for case

WFXT legal analyst Peter Elikann said there’s a good chance she'll get off without any prison time at all. 

"If she is incarcerated, she's going to get what they call, 'a taste of jail,'" Elikann said.

Elikann calls Huffman’s decision to move quickly and plead guilty a wise move as opposed to dragging it out. Had she chosen the longer route, Elikann believes it could've resulted in more charges and harsher punishment. 

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"The idea you get rid of it as quickly as possible and show you’re cooperative and move as quickly as possible is absolutely the smart move to make," he said.

Fellow accused actress Lori Loughlin has refused any type of deal, saying she is not guilty.

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters recruited to the USC crew team.

"Unless she has some great defense, I don’t understand the strategy of delaying," Elikann said of Loughlin.

And in the court of public opinion, Elikann says facing the consequences is key, considering the level of outrage connected to this scheme.

>> On Boston25News.com: First wave of college admissions scandal defendants due in federal court

"I think this is a cautionary tale," he said. "I think it's going to raise everyone's conscience about the unfairness that’s always been around about applying to college."

WFXT expects to learn a sentencing date for Huffman after she faces a judge Monday and formally pleads guilty. 

Loughlin and the other parents who are fighting the charges are due back in court next month.

The Associated Press and Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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