Life really has a way of imitating art for Felicity Huffman.
Authorities have accused Huffman, 56, of conspiring to pay $15,000 to an organization that facilitated cheating on her older daughter’s SATs by having a proctor correct her answers in hopes of getting her into a better college. The actress was arrested and charged with fraud, and was released on a $250,000 bond later on Tuesday.
The situation is eerily similar to one Huffman played out in 2004 in season one of her hit show Desperate Housewives. In the fifth episode of the first season, Huffman’s Lynette Scavo and her husband Tom (Doug Savant) realize they’re going to have to pitch in a little extra to get their twins into a private school.
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While the spouses discuss their options, Lynette brings up one way to give their twin boys the edge over other applicants.
“A generous donation will ensure our kids beat ’em out,” Lynette tells Tom.
“How much?” Tom asks.
“$15,000,” Lynette answers — the exact same amount Huffman is accused of paying to help her own daughter get into college in real life. BuzzFeed was first to report the news.
According to an indictment obtained by PEOPLE from the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, Huffman has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
The affidavit alleges that Huffman and “her spouse” made the $15,000 donation to KWF. Although she is married to actor William H. Macy, he is not indicted in the case.
Prosecutors allege that dozens of parents — including Huffman and fellow actress Lori Loughlin — paid sums to admissions consultant William Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”). Then, prosecutors allege, the KWF would bribe coaches and administrators to accept the donors’ kids into prestigious college programs.
“Huffman and her spouse made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 to KWF to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter,” the criminal complaint affidavit reads. “Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
Federal court records unsealed Tuesday in Boston name Huffman as one of 50 people who have been indicted as part of the alleged nationwide scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.