Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in federal prison on Friday for her involvement in a nationwide bribery scandal that secured placement at elite colleges for one of her teenage daughters and the children of other wealthy parents.
Huffman payed $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT score boosted to 1420, a perfect score of 1600 would have cost $75,000. She was the first parent to be sentenced in the massive college cheating scandal that has rocked the U.S. higher education system.
In addition, District Judge Indira Talwani ordered Huffman to serve 12 months of supervised release, 250 hours of community service and pay a $30,000 fine.
Huffman issued a statement after the sentencing, “I accept the court’s decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.”
She also apologized “to the students who work hard every day to get into college and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children.”
“I can promise you that in the months and years to come that I will try and live a more honest life,” Huffman added.
Dozens of other parents have been charged in the college cheating scandal. Some parents paid as much as $500,000 to ensure their children got into elite colleges despite their academically challenged teens real qualifications. Out of the 34 parents already charged, so far 15 have pleaded guilty and are expected to serve limited jail sentences and pay various fines.
A former Stanford University sailing coach who admitted taking more than half a million dollars in bribes was sentenced in June. He will not serve time in prison.
Huffman’s husband, Shameless actor William H. Macy, was not charged in the scheme.
At least 19 parents, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty and are fighting federal charges including conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly payed $500,000 to manipulate the admissions team of the University of Southern California into accepting their daughters on an athletic basis.
Huffman must report to prison on Oct. 25.