October 17, 2019
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Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in college admissions scandal

Washington, Sep 13 (EFE).- Actress Felicity Huffman, best known for the television series "Desperate Housewives," was sentenced Friday to two weeks behind bars for her involvement in a scheme that saw wealthy people use money to get their children into prestigious US universities such as Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.

Huffman, who pleaded guilty to giving $15,000 to the ringleader of the scam, Rick Singer, to boost her daughter's score on a college admissions test, must also pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service.

Singer arranged for Sophia Grace Macy's score to be increased by 400 points.

The 56-year-old actress was in tears as she read a prepared statement to the federal court in Boston before US District Judge Indira Talwani pronounced sentence.

"I am deeply sorry to the students, schools, and universities, that are impacted by my actions," Huffman said. "I am so sorry Sophia. I was frightened. I was stupid and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done."

Prosecutors had sought a one-month sentence for Huffman, while the defense team argued that she should not get any jail time.

Huffman was accompanied in the courtroom by her husband, actor William H. Macy, who was not charged in the case.

"Most parents have the moral compass not to lie but the defendant did not," prosecutor Eric Rosen said at Friday's sentencing. "This was not a blunder or a mistake. This was intentional criminal conduct that took place over 16 months."

Huffman, nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the film "Transamerica," is the first of the more than 50 people charged in the FBI's "Varsity Blues" investigation to be sentenced.

The indictment handed down in March contends that Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation, accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 "to guarantee their children's admission to elite schools."

While Huffman acknowledged culpability, the other high-profile defendant, "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, has pleaded not guilty.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of having paid bribes totaling $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California (USC).

With the payments, according to the indictment, Loughlin and Giannulli succeeded in "having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team - despite the fact that they did not participate in crew - thereby facilitating their admission to USC."

EFE

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