Apr 8, 2019

Felicity Huffman among 13 parents to plead guilty in admissions scandal

Actress Felicity Huffman. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors in Boston said Monday that actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and the former head coach of men's tennis at the University of Texas at Austin have agreed to plead guilty after being charged in a massive college admissions scheme last month.

"I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly. My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her."
— Huffman wrote in a statement

The big picture: Huffman is one of dozens of wealthy parents facing federal criminal charges for bribing coaches and paying William "Rick" Singer — the ringleader of the scheme — to forge standardized tests in order to get their children admitted to prominent American colleges such as Yale, Stanford, and the University of Southern California.

Defendants pleading guilty, according to prosecutors:

  1. Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., together with his wife, Marcia, agreed to pay Singer $125,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their daughter;
  2. Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
  3. Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $50,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son;
  4. Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., agreed to pay Singer $75,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
  5. Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $75,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
  6. Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer at least $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her oldest daughter;
  7. Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $300,000 to participate in both the college entrance exam cheating scheme and the college recruitment scheme for his daughter;
  8. Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for her son;
  9. Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter;
  10. Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $400,000 to participate in the college recruitment scheme for his son; and
  11. Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay Singer $250,000 to participate in the college recruitment scheme for his son.
  12. Bruce Isackson, 61, and Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif. agreed to pay Singer an amount, ultimately totaling $600,000, to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their younger daughter and the college recruitment scheme for both of their daughters.

Go deeper: The major developments in Operation Varsity Blues

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 5,494,287 — Total deaths: 346,229 — Total recoveries — 2,31,722Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pro-Hong Kong resolution at British university fails after Chinese student opposition

A protester waves the Hong Kong colonial flag during a July 2019 demonstration against the extradition law to China. Photo: Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A student resolution expressing support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement was voted down at the University of Warwick in England, after opposition from mainland Chinese students.

Why it matters: The charged politics of China's actions in Hong Kong are spilling over to university campuses thousands of miles away, raising questions for students and university administrators about how to protect democratic values.