William H Macy was seen in Los Angeles on Tuesday just hours after news broke that his wife Felicity Huffman had been charged with ‘conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.’
The 68-year-old Shameless actor looked downcast as he arrived at the Edward B Roybal Federal building where Huffman is reportedly being held for questioning over the bribery case.
Felicity, 56, is scheduled to appear before a judge on Tuesday afternoon and will be released on a signature bond.
The Desperate Housewives star has been accused of paying $ 15,000 to help better her 18-year-old daughter Sofia’s SAT scores in a massive college entrance cheating scandal that involves 50 people.
Scarier than any movie he has starred in: William H Macy was seen in Los Angeles on Tuesday as he arrived to a federal building after his family was involved in a massive scandal
Hard news to take: This comes just hours after news broke that his wife Felicity Huffman had been charged with ‘conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud’
Serious issue: The Shameless actor looked downcast as he arrived at the Edward B Roybal Federal building where Huffman is reportedly being held for questioning over the bribery case
The acclaimed actor wore a blue grandfather button down jacket over a white dress shirt with no tied. He added jeans and brown shoes.
Macy, who is known for his sunny demeanor, looked like his thoughts were elsewhere as he failed to crack a smile or even look up much.
He was seen walking into the building and then checking his items in as he went through security with a guard on watch.
They need to lawyer up: The Desperate Housewives star has been accused of paying $ 15,000 to help better her 18-year-old daughter Sofia’s SAT scores in a massive college entrance cheating scandal that involved 50 people
Desperate housewife: Huffman and Macy with their daughters Georgia and Sofia at the Golden Globes in January
His wife was taken into custody and charged.
Macy was not charged in the FBI investigation, which became public on Tuesday morning.
Huffman paid a $ 15,000 ‘charitable contribution to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,’ states the complaint.
No tux here: The acclaimed actor wore a blue grandfather button down jacket over a white dress shirt with no tied. He added jeans and brown shoes
Dark day: He was seen walking into the building and then checking his items in as he went through security with a guard on watch
Bad publicity: Macy, who is known for his sunny demeanor, looked like his thoughts were elsewhere as he failed to crack a smile or even look up much
‘Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so,’ according to the documents.
The charging documents state that Huffman had the site where her daughter took the SATs moved from her own high school to a test center in West Hollywood.
Her test was then administered by a proctor who had flown in from Tampa and told investigators that he ‘facilitated cheating, either by correcting the student’s answers after the test or by actively assisting the student during the exam.’
He is in the clear: Macy was not charged in the FBI investigation, which became public on Tuesday
All eyes on WHM: A woman filmed Macy as he carried a black bag to the federal building
In this case, Huffman’s daughter scored a 1420, which was a 400 point improvement from her PSAT results just one year prior.
Soon after the proctor was paid $ 40,000 by Key Worldwide Foundation, the same organization that Huffman would later give a $ 15,000 donation to, according to the documents.
The documents also include the transcript of a phone call between Huffman and the individual who facilitated the test in which she admits that her older daughter had assistance and expresses her desire for her younger daughter to get similar help.
The FBI was watching her: Huffman paid a $ 15,000 ‘charitable contribution to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,’ states the complaint
Bad move: The charging documents state that Huffman had the site where her daughter took the SATs moved from her own high school to a test center in West Hollywood. Her test was then administered by a proctor who had flown in from Tampa and told investigators that he ‘facilitated cheating, either by correcting the student’s answers after the test or by actively assisting the student during the exam’
In a follow up call just this past December, Huffman and her unnamed spouse spoke about their daughter wanting to get into Georgetown.
It was then decided that the young girl would take the exam twice, one on her own and once with help, to ensure she got the score necessary to get her into Georgetown, it is claimed.
Then, at the last second, the couple decided not to have their daughter take the test with assistance.
Serious about school: In December 2017, Felicity shared images of William showing Sofia college campuses. ‘Visiting colleges with our 17 year old. Makes me nostalgic… WHILE IT’S HAPPENING!’ she wrote
Another location: And just before that she shared a post from Chapman University that read, ‘Another college visit. Like the standards these young people are keeping’
Mail fraud is one of the most commonly charged federal crimes, according to criminaldefenselawyer.com.
It applies to any scheme to defraud that involves using the United State Postal Service, or other interstate mail carrier.
For example, a con artist might send a letter to a victim in an attempt to convince the victim to hand over money. Even if the con artist is unsuccessful in his attempt, using the mail in an attempt to commit fraud violates the federal mail fraud law.
The potential prison penalty for a federal mail fraud crime is ‘very stiff,’ according to the site. Each offense can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. However, the penalty can be harsher if the crime involves specific victims or elements.
A good daddy: William with daughters Georgia and Sofia as well as his actress wife at the Los Angeles VIP Screening of Rudderless in LA in 2014
Family first: Macy at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2012 with his wife and daughters
In December 2017, Felicity shared images of William showing Sofia college campuses. ‘Visiting colleges with our 17 year old. Makes me nostalgic… WHILE IT’S HAPPENING!’ she wrote.
The couple holding hands in 1997
And just before that she shared a post from Chapman University that read, ‘Another college visit. Like the standards these young people are keeping.’
Macy felt the pressure associated with getting his child into a good university.
In January the actor told Parade, ‘[Sofia] is going to go to college… We’re right now in the thick of college application time, which is so stressful.’
The 68-year-old Shameless actor added, ‘I am voting that once she gets accepted, she maybe takes a year off. God doesn’t let you be 18 twice.’
He also relayed that Sofia eventually wanted to get into acting like her parents.
‘I know from casting, if you need a 25-, 26-year-old actress, there are a lot of them out there and they’re really good,’ he stated.
Her big series: Hoffman, second from right, is best known for TV’s Desperate Housewives. Seen with Nicollette Sheridan, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher in 2005
‘But if you need a 15-, 16-year-old actress, it’s tough. Sofia looks young. I think this is an opportunity for her.
‘But it’s just my opinion, and we’ll see what she wants to do, what Felicity thinks and how the chips fall.’
He also sounded like a cheerleader for his child: ‘My daughter Sofia, the oldest, is going to LAHSA [Los Angeles High School of the Arts]. She’s thriving there. I know she’s going to make a go of it in the business, which I support. I’ve seen her; she’s good, she’s really good.’
The couple also has 16-year old daughter Georgia.
Caught in the act: Huffman and her spouse gave a $ 15,000 donation to the group that later paid the man who proctored the SAT to her daughter (above)
Plan: A recorded phone conversation makes it evident that Huffman is aware that her daughter will be assisted in the test (above)
Plan: In one call from last year, Huffman revealed she planned to use the same system for her younger daughter (above) after it worked for her older daughter
Macy said of her in Parade: ‘My daughter Georgia, she’s interested in politics, political science and pursuing that. She’s in a very academic school and killing it.’
And he added of both kids: ‘My daughters are extraordinary women. They’re really a joy. They’re both thriving. They’ve got a life ahead of them, but you can exhale a little bit. They’re 16 and 18 years old, and they’re good people.’
Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are also a part of the scandal. They have two daughters: Olivia, 19, and Isabella, 20.
Loughlin and Giannulli are also charged with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud.
Big house: Full House star Lori Loughlin with her daughters Olivia and Bella in February
‘Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants – principally individuals whose high-school age children were applying to college – conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California – Los Angeles,’ stated the 200 page document that was filed on Tuesday.
‘This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud,’ US Attorney Andrew Lelling said on Tuesday in a press conference.
‘There can be no separate college admission for wealthy, and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.’
She had it all! It’s hard to understand how Lori risked so much to get her kids into a school she liked; seen in February
How will she bounce back? Her daughter Olivia is being ridiculed on social media
William Rick Singer, the founder of Key Worldwide Foundation, had been identified as the mastermind behind the scandal.
On Tuesday he pled guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to TMZ.
The site added that he told his clients to write off his payments as tax-deductible donations as he was running a non-profit.
The documents claim that since 2011, Singer has received $ 25 million from parents which was then used to payoff or bribe individuals who could ‘designate their children as recruited athletes, or other favored admissions categories.’
Svengali: William Rick Singer (above), the founder of Key Worldwide Foundation, had been identified as the mastermind, and since 2011 has been paid $ 25M by parents according to filings
Loughlin and Giannulli ‘agreed to pay bribes totaling $ 500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team – despite the fact that they did not participate in crew – thereby facilitating their admission to USC,’ according to the documents.
The couple emailed Singer in 2016 about their daughters college prospects, stating that they wanted to do the necessary work to see that the girls got into USC as opposed to ASU.
Emails obtained by investigators revealed that it was soon decided that bribes would be paid to have the girls recruited as crew coxswains.
A short time after that, photos were taken of older daughter Isabella on an ergometer.
Dr. Donna Heinel, the senior associate athletic director at USC, presented Isabella as a potential athletic recruit a month later and she was approved for conditional admission.
It was then asked that a check be sent to Heinle for $ 50,000 from Giannulli, who a short time later asked if he could mention the story to the athletic director at USC when the two men were at Augusta, likely playing at the famed golf club.
PARENTS CHARGED IN OPERATION VARSITY BLUES
William Rick Singer, the ‘mastermind’
Gregory and Marcia Abbott
Diane and Todd Blake
I-Hsin “Joey” Chen
Amy and Gregory Colburn
Lori Loughlan and Mossimo Giannulli
Elizabeth and Manuel Henriquez
Bruce and Davina Isackson
Peter Jan Sartorio
Singer stated that this was not a good idea because when he discussed the possibility of Isabella’s admission with him a year he though the family ‘would be good for a million plus.’
Isabella received her admission letter the following March, which was followed by another note requesting a donation of $ 200,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation.
The ‘cheating’ referenced in the documents occurred in four forms.
‘Bribing college entrance exam administrators to allow a third party to facilitate cheating on college entrance exams, in some cases by posing as actual students,’ is the first.
‘Bribing university athletic coaches and administrators to designate applicants as purported athletic recruits – regardless of their athletic abilities, and in some cases, even though they did not play the sport,’ is the second.
That is what the documents accuse Loughlin and her husband of doing with their daughters.
‘Having a third party take classes in place of the actual students, with the understanding that the grades earned in those classes would be submitted as part of the students’ application,’ is the third.
The fourth was ‘submitting falsified applications for admission to universities … that, among other things, included the fraudulently obtained exam scores and class grades, and often listed fake awards and athletic activities.’
Parties are accused of then ‘disguising the nature and source of the bribe payments by funneling the money through the accounts of a purported charity.’
That is what Huffman is accused of doing in the documents filed on Tuesday.
All with the help of Singer.
In his biography on the website for the Newport Beach-based Key Foundation, Singer is heralded his ability to get children into the college of their choice.
Singer is extolled for ‘helping students discover their life passion, and guiding them along with their families through the complex college admissions maze,’ in his bio.
‘Rick draws on his life experiences of being a father and college athletics coach. He has seen first hand the stress that the college admissions and athletics recruiting process can put on a family,’ it reads.
‘Over the years, Rick and his team of coaches have helped thousands of students fulfill their life passion in getting into the right college to achieve their dreams. Using The Key method, Key coaches help unlock the full potential of your son or daughter, and set them on a course to excel in life.’
That Key method largely involved donating money which was then used to bribe or payoff individuals per the documents released on Tuesday.
Singer would take the money donated or given by parents and use it to pay Igor Dvorsiky and Lisa ‘Niki’ Williams to administer the standardized tests to the children of those charged in the scheme.
Those two in turn would often pay Mark Riddell, a Florida man who would take the test for the students of change their answers according to the documents filed on Tuesday.
Others who are named in the documents include: Bill McGlashan, the millionaire investor and CAA board member who founded The Rise Fund alongside Bono.
Ali Khosroshahin, the former women’s soccer coach at USC and Laura Janke, the former assistant women’s soccer coach at USC are also named alongside Dr. Heinel.
The schools current water polo head coach, Jovan Vavic, has also been charged in the scheme.