On Tuesday, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was arrested in the early morning hours by FBI agents with their guns drawn for her role in a bribery scheme to get her older daughter into college. The actress is famously married to Emmy-winning actor William H. Macy, and many people are now asking why he didn't get charged like his wife did.
First, here's why Huffman was arrested. According to federal prosecutors, she allegedly paid a "charitable contribution" of $15,000 that actually went to pay for someone to help her daughter cheat on her SATs. For that, she was charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. It's all listed in the court documents but what is not mentioned in there is the name "William H. Macy." Instead, he is referred to as "spouse."
It seems Macy definitely was an active participant in some ways - the court docs note how he was with his wife when they met with a person who laid out the scheme for both of them, explaining to them how the proctor at the site where the pair's daughter took the SATs would correct some of her wrong answers. In a later call with that person, Macy also allegedly asked about extending the amount of time his daughter would have to take the test, saying, "Do we want two days? She'll score higher. Just her base score will be higher if we did it over two days."
As for why he wasn't indicted, the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office didn't say but Vulture reached out to some legal experts, who gave some reasons why this is the case. One possibility is that Macy isn't as much to blame. There is a chance that evidence that the government has might show that Huffman played a much bigger role in the scheme than Macy.
Meanwhile, the reason he was called "spouse" in the complaint could be that he cooperated with the investigation. Since that probably didn't happen, a more likely reason is prosecutors aren't ready to charge him yet if they do intend to. Of course, they can't unless they have significant proof, and that proof has to not only show that Macy was involved, but that he knew of the wrongdoing as well. Based on the conversations the government knows about, it might not be clear that Macy knew what he was doing was illegal.
Interestingly, a few months ago, the actor told Parade that his daughter's college admissions process is "so stressful." He went on to say, "I am voting that once she gets accepted, she maybe takes a year off."
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