Felicity Huffman Sentenced To Prison Over College Admissions Scandal

Published on September 13, 2019

Actress Felicity Huffman is facing 14 days in prison over her involvement in the college admissions scandal that broke earlier this year. The actress and her husband, William H. Macy—who was also sentenced to 250 hours of community service—will each have to pay a fine of $30,000 in relation to the charges. Both Huffman and Macy were involved in the scandal, where Huffman was arrested on federal charges for conspiracy to commit mail fraud as well as honest services fraud.

The College Admissions Scandal: A Refresher

News of the college admissions scandal first broke in March of this year, which alleged that a handful of wealthy parents across the United States illegally paid for a company called The Edge College & Career Network (which also operated under a fraudulent charity called The Key Worldwide Foundation). The company worked with various testing centers and college admissions figures in a handful of ivy league schools around the United States to help get high school students into the schools despite hurdles like low test scores and bad performance throughout high school—for a price, that is.

To get these students into the schools, the company would either work with the parents (or the students, in some cases) to do things like fake test scores, arrange testing appointments with proctors that would help the students, or fake special admissions for athletic purposes by bribing school coaches. In Lori Loughlin’s case, daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was granted admission to USC via the schools rowing program despite the fact that Giannulli had never participated in a rowing program in high school. Both Loughlin and USC’s rowing coach were indicted over involvement in the scandal.

In total, 33 parents and 17 others were charged in their involvement in the scandal which got their children into ivy league schools through bribery. Charges ranged from conspiracy to commit mail fraud to money laundering and honest services fraud. Huffman, who opted to plead guilty in the scandal earlier this year, received a minimal sentencing. The maximum sentencing for conspiracy to commit mail fraud is 20 years in a federal prison and a fine of $500,000, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Other Charges In The Scandal

Huffman is one of the first high profile names in the case to receive a sentencing on their case. Lori Loughlin, who was also charged in the case but has chosen to plead not guilty in the case. Loughlin has seen more of a rough patch during her legal case, as her influencer daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli has remained in the public eye throughout the scandal. Both Loughlin and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged in the case. The case was recently shaken after Olivia Jade uploaded a photo of herself flipping off the camera onto Instagram, despite instructions from Loughlin’s lawyer not to upload to the platform at all.

Olivia Jade, who amassed over 1 million followers on Instagram, had deals with brands like Sephora and Tresemme prior to the scandal. The young influencer recently announced her decision not to go back to school, instead opting to be a full-time influencer moving forward. Er—good luck with that.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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