Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday in a Boston federal court for her role in the college admissions cheating scandal.
The “Desperate Housewives” actor earlier this year pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges for paying $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter’s SAT answers. Among a set of wealthy parents who allegedly participated in a sweeping scheme to cheat, bribe, and lie to get their kids into elite colleges, she was the first to face trial.
Prosecutors requested that Huffman be sentenced to one month in prison, 12 months of supervised release, and a $20,000 fine. Her attorneys said she doesn’t deserve prison time and asked for a year’s probation, 250 house of community service, and a $20,000 fine.
In announcing her plea earlier this year, Huffman said: “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her.”
Huffman was among the highest-profile people charged in the scandal. Others include designer Mossimo Giannulli and his wife, “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, who unlike Huffman, deny any wrongdoing and rejected a plea deal.
The couple pleaded not guilty to paying $500,000 in bribes to a fake charity so that their daughters, influencer Olivia Jade and actress Isabella Giannulli, could be recruits for the USC crew team, despite the fact that they aren’t actually rowers. Because they didn’t take the plea deal that came with 15 months behind bars, they face the possibility of being sentence to up to 40 years in prison each if they’re convicted on fraud and money laundering charges.
A source told the Los Angeles Times that they felt genuinely duped by Rick Singer, the scheme’s alleged mastermind, and had no idea they were breaking any laws.
Being willing to stand trial is a risky bet, as prosecutors have said they will seek longer sentences for those involved in the scam who do not take a plea.