Felicity Huffman Could Face Real Jail Time in College Admissions Scandal
Actor Felicity Huffman is the first major name to get a sentencing recommendation in the college admission scandal. NBC News correspondent Tom Winter tweeted the news late Friday, reporting that Huffman could be required to pay a $20,000 fine and spend a month in jail. NBC News adds that prosecutors told the judge that Huffman's actions were "deliberate and manifestly criminal."
"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," the prosecutors wrote. Court papers also described the team's views that Huffman wasn't driven by "need or desperation," but rather "entitlement or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth."
Huffman's attorneys requested that the judge sentence her to a year term of probation in addition to 250 hours of community service instead of jail time. They also said that she would pay the $20,000 fine associated with her guilty plea. She'll be officially sentenced on September 13.
"Ms. Huffman is deeply remorseful for her crime. She recognizes that she deserves to be punished for what she did," her attorneys wrote.
John Vandemoer, Stanford University's former sailing coach, was the very first individual to be sentenced in the college admissions scandal. The government suggested that he be sentenced to 13 months in jail, but he only ended up spending a single day behind bars. He was found guilty of one count of racketeering conspiracy after accepting $610,000 in bribes. Though Huffman was sentenced to a month in jail, there's no way to tell exactly how long she'll spend in prison or if the judge in the case will be more lenient.
In her statement, Huffman said that she was driven by the "desperation to be a good mother," adding, "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," she continued. "I have a deep and abiding shame over what I have done."
Lori Loughlin, who is also one of the 50 people involved in the FBI investigation, has pleaded not guilty and is still waiting to find out whether or not she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will face jail time. Loughlin could face up to 40 years in prison on counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.