Felicity Huffman Sentenced To Two Weeks In Prison For College Scandal
Actress Felicity Huffman is going to prison for 14 days for paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score.
Federal court Judge Indira Talwani said today that Huffman also received a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and one year supervised release.
She is the first parent to be sentenced in connection to the college admissions scandal, in which dozens of wealthy parents are accused of using lies and bribes to gain their children’s admission to prestigious colleges.
In a released statement, Huffman apologized for her actions.
“I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period,” the former Desperate Housewives star wrote. “I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family and the educational community for my actions. And I especially want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children.”
Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged in the scandal. Her daughter, whose SAT scores were fraudulent, knew nothing of the scheme and was reportedly upset about what her mother had done.
In a remorseful letter to Talwani, Huffman wrote about her daughter’s reaction.
“When my daughter looked at me and asked me with tears streaming down her face, ‘Why didn’t you believe in me? Why didn’t you think I could do it on my own?’ I had no adequate answer for her,” she wrote.
Talwani told Huffman, “I think you take your sentence and you move forward. You can rebuild your life after this. You’ve paid your dues.”
Huffman will report to the Bureau of Prisons in six weeks, on Oct. 25. She asked to stay in a prison near her Southern California residence, but her request has not yet been accepted or denied.
Other parents are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks, many of them by Judge Talwani.
The New York Times reports that a memorandum filed by Talwani noted that the other defendants will likely receive short sentences or probation, since neither the universities or college entrance testing companies suffered financial losses.
The scandal centers around William Rick Singer, and his college counseling company The Key.
According to Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Singer was paid about $25 million by parents to help their children get into colleges, using whatever means necessary. This included bribing test proctors, college coaches, and photoshopping images to make his clients look like accomplished athletes.
Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. He has not been sentenced yet.
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