Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in Operation Varsity Blues, what authorities dubbed the largest college admissions bribery scandal ever prosecuted in the United States, CNN reported on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Following her March 2019 arrest, the Desperate Housewives star pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman admitted to paying $15,000 to William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind the widespread scam, in order to have a test proctor correct answers her daughter’s SAT.
Huffman, who appeared in court in Boston, Mass. with about a dozen loved ones (including her husband, Shameless star William H. Macy), will also be on probation for a year and must pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. The fine is $10,000 more than the $20,000 her attorneys requested, while the 14 days is less than half of the month that prosecuted asked she serve. She was the first of 30 parents in the scandal to be sentenced.
In a three-page letter ahead of her sentencing, Huffman wrote in part, “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. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter and failed my family.” Both Macy and Huffman’s Desperate Housewives co-star Eva Longoria also wrote letters in support of Huffman in hopes of a more lenient sentencing.
TMZ reports that, while in court, Huffman contritely told the judge, “I am deeply sorry to the students, parents, colleges and universities impacted by my actions. I have inflicted more damage [on her daughter] than I could’ve ever imagined … I was frightened, I was stupid and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done.” Huffman will have to turn herself in on Oct. 25, 2019 to serve her prison time.
What does that all mean for Lori Loughlin, who was also charged in this scam but didn’t accept a plea deal? Find out here.
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