Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Boston judge sentences the actress for her involvement in admission’s scandal.
By Aimee Martinez, Valley Life Editor
“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for paying $15,000 to an admission consultant who changed her daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman was given 12 months of supervised release, 250 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine, according to the AP. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, the scheme of depriving the right of honest services from someone else. According to the prosecutor’s sentencing memo, $15,000 ensured the 400 point bump in her daughter’s SAT score, while $75,000 would have ensured a perfect score.
“It’s just dripping with privilege,” said Valley College political science professor, Anthony O’Regan. “So many of our kids are below the poverty level. The odds are so stacked against them in so many ways. The assumption about higher education is that it’s supposed to be a meritocracy.”
The 56-year old actress first met with William “Rick” Singer in August of 2017. Days later, she contacted a College Board psychologist and used her daughter’s learning disability to extend the exam over multiple days and change the location to a test center in Hollywood, according to his instructions.
After the school insisted on providing their own SAT proctor, she lied to the guidance counselor saying her daughter would be taking the test over the weekend. This enabled proctor Mark Riddell to correct her daughter’s answers, where it would be sent to the test center administrator, Igor Dvorskiy. Both have been charged for their involvement in the college admission’s scandal.
Originally prosecutors had requested one month in prison, a year of supervised release and a fine of $20,000 after citing house arrest and a fine alone insufficient and void of meaning considering Huffman’s income and Hollywood Hills home. Her active involvement to further the scheme made prosecutors conclude that her conduct was “deliberate” and “manifestly criminal” though they did take into account her remorse and recognition of her wrongdoing.
“I accept the court’s decision today without reservation,” wrote Huffman in a statement after the verdict of U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani. “I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that, and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.”
The payment was directed to the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), a phony charity created by Singer as part of the “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal. Huffman is the first among 52 people charged for their involvement in the conspiracy.
Huffman must report to prison on Oct.25.