“Shameless” actor William H. Macy may have avoided getting busted along with his wife, actress Felicity Huffman, in a college admissions bribery scheme because they decided not to pay $15,000 to illegally boost their younger daughter’s SAT test scores.
Court papers unsealed Tuesday say Macy and Huffman were both secretly recorded during a Dec. 12 phone call with William Rick Singer, the alleged mastermind of the $25 million scam.
At one point in the call, Singer asked if the couple planned to “do this similarly as we did with” older daughter Sofia Grace Macy, a year earlier.
“Yes, I think we are,” Macy allegedly responded.
Macy, who’s identified only as Huffman’s “spouse,” also allegedly said that “we’re talking about Georgetown, places like –” when Singer asked about “the schools we want to get to” for younger daughter Georgia Grace Macy.
Later in the conversation, court papers say, Macy also replied “cool” when Singer asked, “Are we all okay with the financial side and the operational side of it?”
According to the feds, the scam would have involved having an alleged co-conspirator, Mark Riddell, proctor the test and secretly correct wrong answers afterward, before it was submitted for scoring.
But even though Huffman allegedly spoke with Singer again on Feb. 13, “Ultimately, Huffman and her spouse decided not to pursue the SAT cheating scheme for their younger daughter,” court papers say.
Huffman was charged Tuesday with conspiracy and honest services mail fraud in connection with a Dec. 2, 2017, SAT test proctored by Riddell in which older daughter Sofia scored 1420 points.
That score was 400 points higher than what she scored in a PSAT a year earlier without Riddell, who has admitted cheating on the exams he proctored in Los Angeles, court papers say.
Sofia has not been charged in the case and it’s unclear if she knew about the alleged scheme.
Court papers say Singer told the feds he met with Macy and Huffman in their Los Angeles home “prior to the December 2017 SAT” and told them “how the college entrance exam scheme worked.”
Following the exam, the couple also allegedly made a $15,000 “purported charitable contribution” on Feb. 27 to Singer’s “Key Worldwide Foundation,” an IRS-approved nonprofit that the feds say he used to launder money and pay bribes to Riddell and others.
But while court papers detail a series of emails between Huffman and Singer during the summer and fall of 2017, the feds don’t claim to have any similar evidence against Macy before the December 2017 test.
Macy’s publicist didn’t immediately return a request for comment.