After pleading guilty back in May to the charges lodged against her for her involvement in the US college admissions scandal, Felicity Huffman has been recommended one month of jail time, one year probation, and a fine of $20,000 (£16,280).
Huffman was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, charges that typically carry a four- to 10-month jail sentence. Prosecutors said Huffman agreed to pay $15,000 (£12,210) to admissions consultant William Singer’s foundation, disguised as a tax-deductible charitable donation, in exchange for Singer to arrange for an SAT proctor to correct her daughter’s exam. Her sentencing is scheduled for 13th September.
In a letter addressed to the judge, Huffman insisted her daughter never knew about the scandal or her involvement. Huffman expressed deep regret, saying that her desire to give her daughter every opportunity led her to buy into the arrangement with Singer. “In my desperation to be a good mother I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot. I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair,” Huffman wrote. “I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family.” She went on to say that there was no justification for what she had done. “I unequivocally take complete responsibility for my actions and will respectfully accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate.”
Huffman is among more than a dozen people who pleaded guilty to involvement in the scandal the FBI named Operation Varsity Blues, including 13 other parents and the alleged ringleader, Singer. Still awaiting formal sentencing, Huffman and her legal team have been pulling for a sentence of zero months, one year probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $20,000 fine (£16,280), reports Deadline.
In a supplemental statement released by U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling, he expressed his belief that “some period of incarceration is the only meaningful sanction for these crimes.”
“For wrongdoing that is predicated on wealth and rationalized by a sense of privilege, incarceration is the only leveler: in prison everyone is treated the same, dressed the same, and intermingle regardless of affluence, position, or fame,” said Lelling in the statement. “Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. But they don’t buy fake SAT scores and joke about it (‘Ruh Ro!’) along the way.”