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September 13, 2019

Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in college bribery scandal 

Especially in high-profile cases, I have a tendency to predict (i.e., guess) that a judge will be inclined to impose a sentence somewhere in the middle between the two sentencing recommendations put forward by the prosecution and the defense.  Given that federal prosecutors in the Felicity Huffman case urged  one-month sentence, and that her defense team sought no jail time, I suppose I should have predicted this result (as reported by ABC News): "Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison for 'Varsity Blues' college scam." 

This USA Today piece provides some highlights from the sentencing hearing and the preliminary "loss" ruling made by by the District Judge that also should ensure a number of the other defendants in this case are feeling better about their likely fate in future sentencings:

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced Huffman to [14 days of] prison time as well as a $30,000 fine, supervised release for one year and 250 hours of community service in the case's first sentencing of a parent – a defendant who is also one of the case's most famous.

She was confronted in court by a prosecutor who argued for a prison term and said she had shown "disdain and contempt for the rule of law." But her legal team argued that she should not be treated "more harshly" because of her wealth and fame.

Huffman also apologized again for her actions and reiterated her regrets to her family. "I take full responsibility of my actions and making amends with my crime," she said. "I will deserve whatever punishment you give me."...

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen argued forcefully in court, saying "the only meaningful and efficient sanction is prison" and "there is simply no excuse for what she did.”

"With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood," he said. "What parenthood does not do is it does not make you a felon, it does not make you cheat… Most parents have the moral compass to not step over the line. The defendant did not."

He noted that Huffman did not disengage from her conduct "until the very, very end.” She showed “disdain and contempt for the rule of law,” Rosen said....

Huffman's attorney, Martin Murphy, argued for 12 months of probation and 250 hours of community service for Huffman. He disputed the government’s argument that probation is “not real punishment,” calling that a “penological joke. That is simply wrong and it is wrong as a mater of law. … A sentence of [probation]is real punishment.”

Murphy called for a sentence that treats Huffman like other similarly situated defendants, "not more harshly or more favorably for her wealth....Unlike what the government says, that is not fair."...

The judge issued an order Friday agreeing with the court's probation department, which found no financial losses, and thus no victim, as a result of actions by any defendant, including Huffman. It's a blow to prosecutors, who had argued universities and testing companies suffered damages. Still, Talwani said sentences will account for "consideration of all of the factors" outlined in federal guidelines.

Prior related posts:

September 13, 2019 at 03:47 PM | Permalink


What did she do? Change her kid's SAT score? Submit it to gain admittance to college?
Fraud. When she gets her interview at the Pearly Gates there will be a stand in for Saint Peter. It will be a college kid's mom who is poor and her kid has a high SAT score and good grades. This kid could not get into a private school because of no money. The dead person will be sent to Hell in a handbasket.

Posted by: Liberty2nd | Sep 13, 2019 5:00:57 PM

Glad to see sanity prevail.

Posted by: William C Jockusch | Sep 13, 2019 7:23:12 PM

Just goes to show ya that if you have money,you dont get treated like us poor folks. My wife got set up by a FED CI. The FED CI didn't ratt out her real drug connection ,just set up a poor nobody who knew where to get some drugs. Wife is doing 3 years. She had never been in trouble her whole life. a non violent first time offender. They didn't give my wife any breaks, just the safety valve because she met all the requirements, but she still is doing prison time. The injustice system is a total joke. They just want to lock people up so they can get money from the inmates family.

Posted by: Christopher Backoff | Sep 13, 2019 7:45:39 PM

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