Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in jail in college admissions scandal
A federal judge in Boston sentenced Felicity Huffman on Friday, ordering her to serve 14 days in jail for her part in the infamous college admissions scandal. She will self-report to a facility, the location to be determined soon by the Bureau of Prisons, on Oct. 25.
“I accept the court’s decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed,” Huffman said in a statement after the hearing. “I broke the law. I admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.”
During the hearing, Huffman said that after her arrest, her daughter Sophia (for whom she had broken the law to try to secure a high-profile college admission), “I don’t know who you are anymore. I could only say, ‘I am so sorry, Sophia. I was frightened. I was stupid and I was so wrong.'”
Back in May, Huffman had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Earlier this week, Huffman asked the judge on the case for one year of probation and community service. Twenty-seven people wrote letters of support to the judge in her defense, including her husband William H. Macy (who was not indicted in the investigation) and her former Desperate Housewives costar Eva Longoria.
Prosecutors argued that Huffman should spend a month in jail, saying “in the context of this case, neither probation nor home confinement (in a large home in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool) would constitute meaningful punishment or deter others from committing similar crimes.” Judge Indira Talwani agreed, imposing a 14-day sentence on Huffman, as well as 1-year probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine. According to Boston Globe legal affairs reporter Maria Cramer, who live-tweeted the hearing, “this is a shocking decision. The expectation from legal circles was she would get only time served.” Huffman is the first indicted parent in the case to receive a sentence.
Huffman was one of many wealthy parents caught up in the “Operation Varsity Blues” investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts earlier this year. According to court documents, Huffman agreed to pay $15,000 to William Rick Singer, whose Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) hired various people to take tests on behalf of students who had falsified medical forms saying they needed extra time to take their ACT/SAT tests individually. Singer has been cooperating with the government’s investigation. Huffman and the other defendants pleading guilty have agreed to cooperate with the IRS to pay back taxes they improperly deducted from KWF’s fraudulent status as a nonprofit.
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